ESD design guide for Australian Government buildings: Edition 2

ESD design guide for Australian Government buildings: Edition 2





The Department of the

Environment and Heritage

Content written by Sustainable Built

Environments and Centre for Design

at RMIT University.

Prepared with reference to the

Manningham City Council Doncaster

Hill Sustainability Guidelines.

Graphic design by DesignInc


743 Ann Street,

Brisbane, used with

permission from TVS


Video clips have been included in

the online guide to provide additional

content, context and experience


p// / /


/ g /).

Each is preceded by a short section

of the clip transcribed and edited

to a print readable form. We thank

Mark Thomson, Stephen Webb, Mick

Pearce, David Oppenheim, Kerryn

Wilmott, Chris Barnett, Martin Osolnik,

Tim Hurburgh, Paul Edwards, Paul

Bannister and Sean McArdle for their


ISBN 0642551316

SES Headquarters, used with

permission of H2o architects


© Commonwealth of Australia 2006

This work is copyright. Apart from any

use as permitted under the Copyright Act

1968, no part may be reproduced by any

process without prior written permission

from the Commonwealth, available from

the Department of the Environment and

Heritage. Requests and inquiries concerning

reproduction and rights should be addressed

to: Assistant Secretary Environment Protection

Branch Department of the Environment and

Heritage GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601.


The views and opinions expressed in this

publication are those of the authors and

do not necessarily reflect those of the

Australian Government or the Minister for the

Environment and Heritage.

CH 2 image used with

permission of the City

of Melbourne and

DesignInc Melbourne

While reasonable efforts have been made to

ensure that the contents of this publication

are factually correct, the Commonwealth does

not accept responsibility for the accuracy or

completeness of the contents, and shall not

be liable for any loss or damage that may be

occasioned directly or indirectly through the

use of, or reliance on, the contents of this


For more information contact:






Introduction .................................. 04

Australia and Ecologically Sustainable

Development .................................. 05

Principles of Environmentally

Sustainable Building Design ...... 09

Summary of ESD opportunities in

building .......................................... 11

Opportunity 1

Integrated Design ........................ 12

Opportunity 2

Social Sustainability and Occupant

Satisfaction.................................... 14

Opportunity 3

Optimising Indoor Environment

Quality ............................................ 15

Opportunity 4

Minimising Energy Use................ 17

Opportunity 5

Minimising Transport Impact............

......................................................... 24

Opportunity 6

Minimising Ozone Layer Depletion

......................................................... 25

Opportunity 7

Choosing Materials.......................26

Opportunity 8

Minimising Waste...........................28

Opportunity 9

Water Conservation ..................... 30

Opportunity 10

Land Use and Ecology ................ 34

Case Studies

8 Brindabella Circuit......................... 35

30 The Bond ................................... 38

CH 2 , Council House 2 ..................... 40

743 Ann Street................................. 42

SES Headquarters........................... 44

Waalitj Building: Murdoch University

......................................................... 46

National Museum of Australia...........48

60L: 60 Leicester Street....................51

40 Albert Road..................................54

Galleries, Museums and Libraries .. 58

Glossary ........................................ 62

Attachment One

NABERS and ABGR......................... 67

Attachment Two

GBCA and Green Star...................... 68

Index .............................................. 69




The State of the Environment report

published in 2001 clearly puts into

context that humans have had a large

impact on the earth and that this is not

sustainable. The study concludes:

“Existing pressures from human

settlements are not consistent with

a sustainable environment. Uneven

distribution of wealth in our human

settlements means that some

communities (e.g. Indigenous

communities and small rural towns)

do not always have the capacity to

look after their environment. Most

indicators of resource consumption

continue to outpace population

growth. An example is personal

mobility, as measured by vehicle

kilometres travelled, which is

increasing in metropolitan areas.

There is a high and increasing

per capita energy usage in human

settlements leading to increase

in greenhouse gas emissions,

particularly through electricity

generation and transport usage.” 1

Buildings contribute significantly

to this negative impact on our

environment consuming 32% of the

world’s resources, including 12% of

the world’s fresh water and up to 40%

of the world’s energy. Buildings also

produce 40% of waste going to landfill

and 40% of air emissions. 2 In Australia,

commercial buildings produce 8.8%

of the national greenhouse emissions

and have a major part to play in

meeting Australia’s international

greenhouse targets. 3

Figure 1. The earth, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council.

The Australian Government wishes

to show leadership in minimising the

environmental impacts of its buildings

and operations, including leased

premises. This guide provides an

introduction to the key environmental

issues relevant to office buildings and

public buildings. It also outlines what

you can do to address these issues in

your building project, supporting this

with evidence from case studies of

leading buildings.

Relevant Australian buildings covered

by this guide are: Office buildings

(Building Code of Australia – BCA

class 5) and public buildings such

as libraries, art galleries, museums

and similar cultural institutions (BCA

class 9b). This is not intended to refer

to schools, hospitals or correctional

facilities (for information on these see

the various guides developed by state

departments) although many of the

concepts and strategies outlined here

may be relevant to those facilities.

This guide gives a basic introduction

to ecological sustainability issues and

specifically how the built environment

affects them. It begins by outlining

the Australian position on Ecologically

Sustainable Development (ESD)

and some key policies relevant to

buildings and ESD. The next section

outlines the tools that are available to

help in achieving ESD in Australian

Government buildings, specifically

ABGR, NABERS and Green Star.

The bulk of this guide is an outline of

initiatives that can be put in place to

minimise the environmental and social

impacts of buildings.

Several case studies are presented

to illustrate various approaches to

achieving ESD in buildings:

ESD: Ecologically

Sustainable Development

– ‘using, conserving and

enhancing the community’s

resources so that ecological

processes, on which life

depends, are maintained,

and the total quality of life,

now and in the future, can

be increased’. (NSESD, DEH


• 8 Brindabella Circuit, Canberra, the

first project to achieve 5 Star Green

Star - Office Design certified rating

• 30 The Bond, Sydney

ESD in a new building using a

‘business as usual’ approach

• CH 2 , Melbourne, Australia’s first

6 Star Green Star - Office Design


• 743 Ann Street – a refurbishment of

an office building in Brisbane

• Waalitj Building: Murdoch

University – Perth building

• SES headquarters, Melbourne

• National Museum of Australia,

Canberra, ESD initiatives in a highly

sensitive display environment

• 60L, Melbourne, a refurbishment of

a warehouse to offices

• 40 Albert Road, Melbourne,

integrating many Australian first

technologies and has achieved a

6 Star Green Star - Office Design

certified rating

• Galleries, Museums and Libraries

various ESD opportunities in public


1 DEH (2001) State of Environment Summary

Brochure. The Department of the Environment &

Heritage: Canberra.


2 OECD (2003) Environmentally Sustainable

Buildings: Challenges and Policies. A report by the


3 DEH (2001) Australia State of the Environment

report. The Department of the Environment &

Heritage: Canberra.





ecologically sustainable development

(ESD) represents one of the greatest

challenges facing Australia’s

governments, industry, business and

community in the coming years. 4

In 1990, Australian Governments

endorsed the following definition for

ESD in Australia:

‘....using, conserving and enhancing

the community’s resources so that

ecological processes, on which life

depends, are maintained, and the

total quality of life, now and in the

future, can be increased’. 5

ESD is development which aims to

meet the needs of Australians today,

while conserving our ecosystems for

the benefit of future generations. To

do this, we need to develop ways of

using those environmental resources

that form the basis of our economy

in a way which maintains and, where

possible, improves their range, variety

and quality. We also need to utilise

those resources to develop industry

and generate employment.

The Australian Government has

developed several strategies and

policies in response to the need

to ensure ecologically sustainable

development. The National Strategy

for Ecologically Sustainable

Development (NSESD) was launched

in 1992 after extensive consultation

with industry, the community,

conservation groups, scientific

organisations and all levels of

Government. It identifies five key

principles of ESD:

• integrating economic and

environmental goals in policies and

activities (the integration principle);

• ensuring that environmental assets

are properly valued (the valuation


• providing for equity within

and between generations (the

intergenerational principle);

• dealing cautiously with risk and

irreversibility (the precautionary

principle); and

• recognising the global dimension.

The Environment Protection and

Biodiversity Conservation Act

1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian

Government’s major piece of

environmental legislation. It protects

the environment, particularly

matters of National Environmental

Significance. It streamlines national

environmental assessment and

approvals process, as well as

protecting Australian biodiversity and

integrating management of important

natural and cultural places. It also

contains requirements that Australian

Government agencies report on how

they are addressing the challenges of

ESD. Section 516A of the EPBC Act

requires Commonwealth organisations

to include in their Annual Reports a

section detailing the environmental

performance of the organisation and

the organisation’s contribution to

ESD. 6

For existing buildings, the s516A

part of their annual report can record

performance on water use, energy

use (including greenhouse gas

emissions), waste produced and any

initiatives planned or in place to

minimise ESD impacts. For new

buildings, this report can include a

record of the ESD elements taken into

account in the building requirements.

This reporting should form part of the

broader Section 516A ESD report on

the organisation’s overall ESD report

as outlined in the document Generic

ESD and Environmental Performance

Indicators for Commonwealth

Organisations (GPICO). 7

The Australian Government has a

specific policy regarding government

energy use. This was originally

announced in November 1997 as

part of a package of measures in

Safeguarding the future: Australia’s

response to climate change, with an

updated version currently under

development. For Australian

Government buildings, this policy

requires reporting on the lighting

energy use, general energy use, the

number of kilometres travelled and the

amount of energy used per fuel type.

As part of this policy, specific portfolio

targets were adopted for government

office buildings (not public buildings)

as follows:

• Tenant light and power - 10,000


• Central Services - 500 MJ/m 2 /


New portfolio targets will be

announced in late 2005, these targets

will not be for individual buildings.

To achieve best practice of 4.5 stars

ABGR in new government office

buildings and major refurbishments, a

maximum of 10 Watts/m 2 for lighting

and 9 Watts/m 2 for general power

(tenancy) should be considered.

4 DEH (1992) NSESD Prepared by the Ecologically

Sustainable Development Steering Committee

Endorsed by the Council of Australian

Governments December, 1992 ISBN 0 644 27253

8, Introduction.

5 ibid Introduction

6 For more information of ESD reporting see www.


7 For more information of ESD indicators see www.





ecologically sustainable development

Figure 2. 743 Ann Street interior, TVS


Figure 3. 743 Ann Street interior, TVS


For Australian Government buildings,

Australian ESD legislation and policies

provide a clear direction for:

• Planning buildings with a view to

the long term while being feasible

in the short term

• Using the precautionary principle in

all decision making

• Taking a global approach to

issues – for example approaching

greenhouse gas reduction through

energy efficiency

• Input from users and communities

on building projects

• Avoiding the use of materials

that have a negative effect on


• Ensuring healthy indoor


• Reporting on performance

For related policies see the

Policy Framework for Greening of






A range of rating tools have been

developed internationally and in

Australia to measure various aspects

of the environmental performance

of buildings. There are two main

approaches to ratings: (1) a designbased

approach, which seeks to

predict the performance of a building

based on an analysis of the design

features; and (2) an outcome-based

approach, which measures the

actual consumption of resources and

environmental impacts of the building

in operation. Both approaches

provide useful information to building

owners, managers and tenants, and

have the potential to drive continuous

improvement of the building stock.

For assessing a range of

environmental aspects of commercial

buildings in Australia, Green Star -

Office Design v2 assesses a project’s

approach while other Green Star tools

assess construction and procurement

environmental initiatives or existing

building’s environmental assets.

Green Star rating tools do not assess

building occupant’s behaviour.

The National Australian Built

Environment Rating System (NABERS)

uses an outcome-based approach

to assess the environmental

performance of existing buildings

(commercial office or residential

home). Ratings derived from a

system like NABERS that uses an

outcome-based approach will to a

degree be influenced by the behaviour

of occupants - i.e. by factors often

not directly relevant to the building

infrastructure itself. The ABGR tool is

used in both Green Star and NABERS

to cover energy issues. For that

reason it is discussed first:


ABGR is administered nationally by a

group of sustainable energy agencies


date, more than 500 buildings have

been officially rated.

ABGR has broad industry support

and is being used for energy rating,

target development and design

requirements. The ABGR scheme

rates buildings from one to five stars

with five stars representing exceptional

greenhouse performance. ABGR can

be used for the base building (central

services), individual tenancies or a

whole building.

ABGR Homepage





environmental performance


Green Star has been developed by

the Green Building Council of Australia

(GBCA) with support from industry

and some government agencies.

Green Star rating tools relate to the

various cycles of development eg.

design, procurement, construction

and refurbishment. There are

currently four Green Star rating tools

relevant to office buildings.

What the Green Star tools rate:

• Green Star - Office Design v2

evaluates the environmental

potential of the design of

commercial office buildings

(base building construction or

refurbishment). That is, it is a

rating of the design potential of the

building before it is built.

• Green Star - Office As Built v2

evaluates the same design

initiatives as Green Star - Office

Design but the validation

documentation differs in that it

is retrospective and therefore

evaluates those initiatives that are

relevant to the construction of the

building and are the responsibility

of the contractor. That is, it

is a rating of the contractor’s

performance once the building has

been built.

• Green Star - Office Interiors v1

evaluates the environmental

initiatives and/or the potential

environmental impact of class

5 office tenancy fitout. It was

developed primarily to assess

an office tenancy fitout once

construction is complete, however

it should also be used during

the tenancy fitout design phase

to ensure green initiatives are

incorporated at the earliest

possible stage.

• Green Star - Office Asset (pilot)

rates the environmental attributes

of existing office buildings that

have been constructed and

handed over not less than 24

months prior to an application

for a Green Star certified rating.

The tool assigns a Green Star

rating to the physical building and

its services independent of the

tenants’ operation or behaviour.

That is, it is a rating of the asset

which is over 24 months old, and

uses the ABGR tool to measure

potential energy use and not actual


Green Building Council Australia

For case studies on Green Star

accredited buildings see Attachment 2



NABERS was developed by the

Australian Government and is

currently being commercialised by

the NSW Department of Energy,

Utilities and Sustainability (DEUS), the

administrators of ABGR.

NABERS measures environmental

performance against a comprehensive

set of key impact categories. The

relevance of these impact categories

in a NABERS assessment will

depend on whether the rating is

for a Commercial Office Building,

Commercial Office Tenancy, or

Residential Home.

Figure 4. Queenscliff Ecocentre, DPI Victoria.

NABERS is structured this way to

allow recognition of the different

realms of accountability and

responsibility for commercial building

owners, commercial tenants, or home


National Australian Built

Environmental Rating System

“The client came to us with

Green Star - Office Design v1

after documentation …so we

developed two A4 pages …of

ESD initiatives that we could take

on for free.”

5 Star, Green Star - Office Design v1 implementation

at Brindabella

Martin Osolnik, Associate, Daryl Jackson

Alastair Swayn




environmental performance

Information required for Green Star Green Star

- Office Design v2 8 category

Commissioning documentation

Waste and environmental

management plans

Predicted ventilation, light, views, user

control, VOCs, noise and asbestos




Information required for NABERS

IEQ Indoor Air Quality Levels of dust, CO, CO 2 , Ozone, VOCs,

bacteria, fungi and mould

ABGR rating with a minimum of 4

stars, metering, peak offset, zoning

Proximity to public transport and car

parking minimisation

Planned appliances and fixtures,

metering, cooling tower, irrigation,

water collection and reuse

Reuse, recycled content, PVC

minimisation, timber

Existing building system (façade/

structure) reuse




Energy use and



Actual satisfaction – noise, temp,

light and health aspects such as

headaches, nausea etc.

Enter ABGR score 0-5 stars,

Transport Transport Transport type, engine size, km and

number of trips

Water Water Use Actual m 3 of water used

(see water)

(see emissions)



Sewage Outfall


Rainwater captured and used,

permeable and non permeable

surfaces, rainfall, evaporation

Actual m 3 of water sent to sewer and


Materials Toxic Materials Presence, storage and disposal per


(see materials) Waste Total waste and waste to landfill

Soil reuse, adding ecological value

and quality through remediation to


Land use



Landscape types and m 2

Refrigerant capture, water pollution

minimisation, sewage minimisation,

light pollution, cooling tower, insulation

blowing agent




Actual m 2 of different surfaces on

which storm water falls e.g. garden with


(see emissions)

Refrigerant use

(GWP and ODP)

Type, amount and actual leakage (by

top up required)

New untried technologies, techniques

and approaches


Table 1. Comparison of the information required by Green Star and NABERS

8 Green Star - Office Design v2




sustainable building design


environmentally sustainable building design


The single most important principle for

achieving an ecologically sustainable

building design is client commitment.

As shown above the Australian

government is committed to ESD and

has developed some specific targets

in the area of energy, with others to

follow in the near future. In developing

Figure 5. Life cycle of a building.

the new or existing building brief,

ESD needs to be built in along with

functional and technical requirements.

A base building brief being developed

by the Australian Government

will support the development of

this commitment into an effective

functional brief.


Buildings are complex and have

many impacts. It is important when

addressing these impacts that each

project team member does not work

in isolation, without considering

the consequences of any other

particular initiative. One of the main

ways of looking at a building’s

impact is to think about the life cycle

of the building; that is, its design,

construction, use, refurbishment and

demolition. (See Figure 5).


As many projects have shown, it

is at the design stage that many of

the impacts of a building are locked

in. (See Figure 7). The greatest

chance to reduce the environmental

impact of a building is to tackle the

minimisation of impacts at the design

stage, through good guidance with

a building brief that clearly outlines

targets and ESD requirements. It

is also recommended to use an

integrated design process to minimise

silo initiatives and unintended

consequences. For example, for

improved Indoor Environment Quality

(IEQ) levels, it is good to have higher

levels of ventilation than is required

under Australian Standards, but

this can have an adverse effect of

increasing the energy used by the

building for heating and/or cooling this


“ it is important to develop… an

‘environmental brief’ to … share

the vision with the client of what

is possible, …show them… that

they can achieve quite a lot more

which is beneficial to them in the

long term in terms of operational


Client commitment

743 Ann Street

Mark Thomson, Director, TVS Partnership

Figure 6. Trees, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council.


sustainable building design


environmentally sustainable building design

“Everyone was brought on board

at least 3 years prior to Bond

being built. We had a blue sky

workshop with our staff before

we started the process. Then we

took on a taskforce approach

with about 8 different taskforces.

Those taskforces pretty much

wrote the brief.”


Building owners already try to

determine the costs and benefits

over the life of their assets

(sometimes referred to as the total

cost of ownership), balancing the

upfront capital costs with the on

going operating expenses. Similar

approaches exist for evaluating the

overall environmental performance

of a building. One of the main

techniques for determining the relative

merit of any one initiative is through

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA

is the assessment of the whole of

life impact of various initiatives on

the environment (including all of the

impacts listed in this report). LCA

methodology uses actual figures,

such as for energy use, emissions to

the environment, and materials used

rather than predicted figures.

Currently LCAs are mainly used

in commercial buildings to make

decisions concerning various options

for particular elements (i.e. wool

carpet versus nylon carpet) rather

than the entire building, since the

use of LCA is both time and resource

intensive. There are, however, tools

being developed currently to make

this more streamlined, such as LCAid

(CSIRO), but these are yet to be

tested in the market place.

Online Resources


Department of the Environment and


Greening the Building Life Cycle

provides case studies, links to LCA

tools and a guide to LCA use for

building design

Canadian Architect


Engaging stakeholders in the creation process

30 the Bond

Paul Edwards, General Manager,

Environment Sustainability Initiatives, Lend

Lease Australia Pacific

Figure 7. Ability to influence green innovation in design.



esd opportunities in building


















Establish design

values of project.

Set environmental

performance targets.

Consider collaborative

design workshops.

Consider the broader

urban environment.

Set criteria for Indoor

Air and Environment

Quality (IAQ and IEQ).

Consider renewable

energy options.

Consider engaging




5. TRANSPORT Consider location

in relation to use.

Are there alternative

transport options to

the site?





minimising toxicity)





Contact local

water authority (re


Consider thermal


Assess design

against benchmarks

and targets.


environmental costbenefit


Design for access

and mobility

Maintain site biodiversity

Consider total indoor

environment – light,

fresh air, views,

materials, radiant

and convective


landscape and user


Integrate into the

Building Management

System (BMS) a

process for review

and improvement of

energy performance.

Explore multiple

benefit solutions that

solve more than one


Use passive design

T5 lighting.


Flat screen monitors.


esd opportunities in building

Peer reviews to confirm

innovative technology.

Specify energy efficient


Specify adequate


Provide sufficient detail

of draught proofing.

Specify provision

of separate energy


Consider an

Require the provision


of operating and

commissioning agent. maintenance

instructions and


Include shower and

locker facilities and

adequate bicycle


Use material selection

rules of thumb.

Choose materials

which minimise


Design building for

flexibility and future


Contact local waste

contractors for site

access advice.

Design-in waste

collection areas.

Investigate site water

collection and re-use


Investigate waste

water treatment


Consider car parking

spaces that are

adaptable for other


Specify use of

refrigerants with a zero

ODP and a maximum

of 10 GWP.

Further research

information on material

maintenance, reuse

and recycling.

Environmental criteria

included in final


Specification to call for

waste management

plan from builder.

Detail for easy

modification of


Specify minimum AAA

rated fittings.

Specify use of water

wise landscaping.


Minimise disturbance

to offsite areas.

Provide safeguards

and performance

indicators in

specifications to

promote appropriate


material selection and

substitution. Protect

from respiratory


Encourage builders

to use green power

during construction.

Ensure builders have

an energy component

to their Environmental

Management Plan.

Commission building


Carry out building

manager and user


Provide building use


Make parking

provisions for


Review material

certification and


Provide method for

contractors to use in

material substitution.

On-site waste

separation and

recycling .

Allow for material

salvage in demolition.

Regular reporting and


Ensure stormwater

runoff is contained and

sediment removed

prior to leaving site.

Use environmental

performance ratings,

on-site monitoring and

user feedback.

Monitor air quality.

Carry out regular

metering, reporting

and adjustment

for improved


Look for energy

efficiency opportunities

at refurbishment.

Make environmental


indicators visible.

Undertake postoccupancy


Periodic re-


Occupant education to

promote use of public

transport, cycling and


Audit regularly for

leaks, minimise where


Building use material

selection guideline,

particularly for


Occupant education

on waste recycling.

Occupant education

on water saving.

Table 2. Whole of life opportunities in Government buildings. Adapted from Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines, City of

Manningham, Victoria 2004


esd opportunities in building


integrated design

“try to make each element of

the design work more than once

…such as external blinds for glare

and solar control and our atrium

for exhaust relief air path as well

as a buffer zone and an amenity

for people.”

Use of integrated design

30 the Bond

Paul Edwards, General Manager,

Environment Sustainability Initiatives, Lend

Lease Australia Pacific

An integrated design process brings

together all of the parties that will work

on a building at the beginning of the

project – clients, consultants,

financiers, builders, tenants etc. One

technique to support the integrated

design process is to run a charrette.

The benefit of this is that after a period

of between say 2 days to 2 weeks

(depending on the size of the project)

the entire design team can resolve

most of the building design elements

and optimise how the building

systems can work together.



The best way to reduce all of

the environmental impacts of a

commercial building is to ensure that

decisions are made holistically. In

any project where a new building or

refurbishment is being considered, it

is best achieved through an integrated

design process that includes

environmental management in

construction and during operation.



A charrette type workshop is an

effective method for beginning the

ntegrated design process. One

option for structuring the charrette is

o use Green Star as the framework

or decision-making. This gives a

coherent way to think through the


In general, within the integrated

design process described above,

the best way to start the process

that minimises a building’s impact

on the environment is to ensure that

the design responds to the climate in

which it will be built. Completing the

design and documentation process

requires that the ESD opportunities

identified in the charrette be carried

through and documented.

Figure 8. CH 2 construction image, vaulted

ceilings from inside looking out, City of

Melbourne. (6 Star, Green Star - Office Design


The Council House 2 project

(CH 2 ) used a charrette process.

This was run over 2 weeks, with

the consultants and project team

sitting together every morning

and going away in the afternoons

to carry out specific research

on elements discussed in the

morning, in order to return the

next day to report. This process

ensured that in a short period,

around 80% of all the building

design and systems were

resolved in an integrated holistic

fashion. All the consultants

understood the systems and

why they were in place. Further,

there was a sense of trust that

had been built up, resulting in

a shorter design period to the

point that a guaranteed bill of

quantities was produced in 9

months, (even accounting for a

change of site in the 3rd month).

Figure 9. CH 2 charette, City of Melbourne



esd opportunities in building


integrated design

Figure 10. Clouds, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council

The construction phase is also

crucial for the successful completion

of a building aiming to reduce its

impacts on the environment. The main

construction impacts are related to

waste and pollution. These can be

minimised by a good Environmental

Management Plan (EMP) and Waste

Management Plan (WMP). An

Environmental Management System

(EMS) can be certified to ISO14001

and tends to be written at a company

level, while the EMP and WMP are

often site specific.

After construction, and during the

handover period, there should be a

thorough commissioning stage to

prove that the building has been built

as designed and is functioning as

intended. Depending on the size of

the building the following steps need

to be taken during this process:

• Step 1 – ensure that the

construction documentation

includes requirements for precommissioning,


and quality processes;

• Step 2 – ensure that knowledge

transfer is facilitated by

documenting the design intent and

outcomes and communicating

these with the design and

construction teams and the client;

• Step 3 – ensure that a user manual

is written – both for tenants and for

the owner/building manager;

• Step 4 – plan for a 12 month

commissioning period to ensure

that there is time for fine-tuning

and assessment of performance

over the differing seasons; and,

• Step 5 – for those larger projects

or those trying to attain the highest

Green Star - Office Design rating,

plan for the appointment of an

independent commissioning

agent to support the contractor

commissioning process and to

audit the process and outcomes.

In addition, reduction of the

environmental impacts of the building

in operation can be further achieved

by a thorough building management

system (including an EMS) that

has regular audits and a policy of

continual improvement for areas

such as water use, energy use and

waste production. To a certain extent,

purchasing and transport policies also

have an impact, and it is beneficial if

these are also addressed.

Another tool that can be used in the

holistic building management strategy

is to have tenant initiatives such as

green leases and tenant building user

manuals. These can be supported

by regular meetings between key

parties, such as through a building

management committee.

Figure 11. Integrated design process,

DesignInc Melbourne.

Online Resources

Integrated Design

City of Fort Collins


Environmental Management System




Property Council of Australia


Victorian Government EMS


Module 4 Developing an Energy

Management System


Green Leasing

Freehills Commercial Lawyers



esd opportunities in building


social sustainability and occupant satisfaction

Figure 12.Queenscliff Ecocentre - courtyard,

DPI Victoria.

“Most of the comments on the

NAB and the Bond is what a

good space it is, not about

how much energy saving it is.

In terms of getting that culture

shift in organisations, I think

that the healthy aspect is what

is driving it. In CH 2 , the idea of

100% fresh air, the access to

landscape, has been far more

upfront than the energy side of

things.” Stephen Webb.

Figure 13. AGO southside of courtyard, DEH.

A building can make a contribution to

social sustainability in how it responds

to its surroundings (does it fit in,

address and if possible enhance the

surrounding contexts?) and how it

meets the social needs of the people

who will be using the building (access

and usability).




This is important because buildings

are social spaces driven by the needs

of organisations that work in them. If

a green building does not provide the

functionality that the users need, or

looks out of place with its context, it

will either be removed or significantly

renovated, which is not sustainable.




Though this guide is mainly an

introduction to the potential to

minimise the environmental impact

of buildings, it is important to outline

the social opportunities of a new

building or refurbishment. Some social

considerations include:

• Accessibility – ensuring that the

building can be accessed by all of

the community particularly the less


• Usability – ensuring that input

from the building users into the

design and choices of systems

in the building meets their social

and functional needs (including

encouraging the kinds of

collegiality and team-building


• Education – ensuring that

Government buildings, particularly

public buildings, can have an

educative role. Thus, for any

buildings that have embraced

sustainability, resources should

be factored into the budget to

demonstrate these features –

information kiosks, signage, online

fact sheets, ongoing monitoring

and reporting.

• Indigenous cultural input

– ensuring that indigenous cultural

and spiritual aspects of sites are

considered in the construction of

any new buildings, as places often

have meanings that should be

acknowledged and, if possible, be

part of the design inspiration.

• Public Space – ensuring that the

outdoor public spaces of the

building are designed and located

as functional areas, with access to

sunlight, able to support activities

and considerate of adjoining


• Context – ensuring that the

building fits into its context (such

as the urban fabric) within which

it is being built. This may include

cultural heritage considerations.

Apart from the above general

considerations, there are also

separate requirements for accessibility

that should be consulted, for example

the Disability Discrimination Act


Online Resources

Social Sustainability and Occupant


Disability Discrimination Act


Royal Australian Institute of Architects

ESD award checklist


Occupant satisfaction measure



Occupant satisfaction probe studies



esd opportunities in building


optimising indoor environment quality




ING bank (Netherlands) 14 15% IEQ

San Fran Sustainable

3% to 15% IEQ

studies (US) 15 Development Committee


Nevada Post office (US) 16 6% Better lighting and use of natural


Verifone Corporation (US) 17

Twelve Public Offices (US) 18

45% decrease in


Table 3. Summaries of several productivity studies.

Daylighting, air filtration and low

toxicity material specification.

Mechanically ventilated buildings

had significantly more people

with symptoms of sick building

syndrome than occupants of

naturally ventilated buildings,

after adjustment for confounding


Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)

is mainly assessed on by how

the environment in the building is

perceived by it users, as well as some

empirical measurements of air flow

and temperature. It is made up of

various elements:

• Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), assessed

by the levels of pollutants in the air,

odour etc.

• Ventilation,

• Thermal comfort,

• Lighting (including provision of

natural light),

• Noise and

• Visual amenity.


IEQ is important because people

spend around 90% of their time

indoors. 10 Minimising the toxicity of

their indoor environment is therefore a

priority, particularly when indoor air is

shown to be more toxic than outdoor

air. 11 The US EPA estimates that 20 to

35 percent of all workers in modern

mechanically ventilated buildings may

experience negative air-quality related

signs and symptoms. 12 Furthermore,

it declares that indoor pollution is

estimated to cause thousands of

cancer deaths and hundreds of

thousands of respiratory health

problems each year.

A 1984 World Health Organization

Committee report suggested that up

to 30 percent of new and remodelled

buildings worldwide may be the

subject of complaints related to indoor

air quality. 13

Several studies have established links

between increased productivity and

improved IEQ. Some of these studies

are shown in Table 3.

10 Wargocki, P., Wyon, D.P., Baik, Y.K., Clausen, G.

and Fanger, P.O. (1999) Perceived air quality,

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms and

productivity in an office with two different pollution

loads. Indoor Air, p 9, 165–179 and

Fisk, W.J. and Rosenfeld, A.H. (1997), ‘Estimates

of Improved Productivity and Health from Better

Indoor Environments’, Indoor Air, vol. 7 (3), pp.


11 Patrick K (2004) ‘IEQ : Coming To A Building

Near You’, Property Australia, Property Council of

Australia: Sydney, p. 8

12 ibid p. 8

13 ibid p. 8

14 ibid p. 9

15 ibid p. 10

16 Edwards L. and P. Torcellini (2002) A Literature

Review of the Effects of Natural Light on Building

Occupants, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

p. 11


17 ibid p. 10

18 Fisk, W.J. and Rosenfeld, A.H. (1997) ‘Estimates

of Improved Productivity and Health from Better

Indoor Environments’, Indoor Air, vol. 7 (3), pp.


“…Indoor Environment Quality…

in the past few years it has

probably been the single biggest

thing that has come up and has

got these buildings over the


Importance of IEQ

CH2 (6 Star Green Star - Office Design v1)

Stephen Webb, Director, DesignInc



esd opportunities in building


optimising indoor environment quality


Design strategies for optimising IEQ



Optimise the amount of natural light

entering the working environment

while minimising glare, ensuring

employees have access to views.

Provide adequate artificial lighting

for the tasks building users need to



Optimise the amount of ventilation

and fresh air provision to ensure air

change effectiveness (no sections

of the building to have stale air build

up because of inadequate air flow).

AS1668.2-1991 sets a minimum rate

(dependent on the project) between

5 and 10 litres per second per person

(l/s/person). The Australian Institute

of Refrigeration, Heating and Air

Conditioning (AIRAH) recommends

10l/s/person and CH 2 is aiming

for 22.5l/s/person. Another useful

tool is CO 2 sensors that control

ventilation systems to only turn on

when required. In addition ensure

that air supply ductwork is maintained

to avoid/eliminate mould and other

contaminants developing.

Thermal Comfort

Avoid the simplistic ‘air temperature’

definition of acceptable comfort.

Rather, consider the concept

of ‘adaptive comfort’ that uses

holistic measures including radiant

temperature, symmetry, internal air

temperature ranges related to external

ambient conditions, air movement,

activity levels and occupant clothing.

Carry out thermal modelling to

design for appropriate comfort levels

(see Figure 14 showing thermal

modelling of night purge thermal mass

cooling). Provide individual controls

to allow building users to tailor the

environmental conditions of their

working space. International standard

for thermal comfort is ISO 7730.


Ensure noise levels are kept at

appropriate levels. For example in

Green Star – Office Design v2 defines

appropriate levels as:

• “the design of building services

building services noise meets

the recommended design sound

levels provided in Table 1 of

ASINZS 2107:2000”

• “design sound level between 40-

45 dB LAeqT (decibels equivalent

sound levels – a complicated

acoustic logarithmic formulae)

in general offices and 35-40dB

LAeqT in private offices” 19


Material selection

Ensure asbestos and other mineral

fibres are eliminated from the

occupied space. Minimise materials

that emit volatile organic compounds

(VOCs) and have formaldehyde

emissions. Ensure that spaces

containing equipment such as printers

and photocopiers are isolated and

well ventilated. Ensure combustion

plant is maintained to minimise

pollution and greenhouse gas

emissions. Ensure cooling plant is

maintained to eliminate water borne

atmospheric pathogens and that

the plant refrigerant has zero Ozone

Depleting Potential (ODP) and a

Global Warming Potential (GWP) of

below 10. 20

IEQ and construction

To protect the health of construction

workers ensure that the cutting of

MDF is avoided or minimised with

appropriate safety equipment, ensure

the removal of Asbestos and minimise

emissions from Volatile Organic


Figure 14. CH 2 Modelling velocity (blue) and

pressure (red) of air distribution through room

(AEC, City of Melbourne report).

19 Green Star – Office Design v2 Indoor Environment

Quality credit IEQ-12 ‘Internal Noise Levels’ www.

20 Green Star – Office Design v2 Emissions credits

Em-1 ‘Refrigerant ODP’

Online Resources


Department of the Environment and


Building Green



IAQ for large buildings



esd opportunities in building


minimising energy use

The use of energy from non-renewable

sources, such as coal and gas, is

not sustainable because of the finite

amount of these sources as well as

the environmental impacts created by

their use for energy production.



The reason that greenhouse gas

emissions are an environmental

problem is that their build up in the

atmosphere will lead to the enhanced

greenhouse effect and a change in

the earth’s climate (this is also referred

to as climate change or global

warming). The consequences of a

rise in the earth’s temperature, which

is predicted to be between 1.4 to 5.8

degrees within the next century 21 ,

includes a rise in sea levels due to

ice caps melting and complicated

changes to weather patterns.

Commercial buildings are said to

contribute 8.8% of the total Australian

greenhouse emissions. 22

Greenhouse gasses are measured by

greenhouse gas equivalents relating

to Global Warming Potential (GWP).

CO 2 is set as a GWP of 1. All other

gasses are given a relative score – eg

if a gas has twice the global warming

potential when compared to CO 2 , it

gets a GWP of 2. 23



One approach to achieving

greenhouse targets is to ensure that

buildings use minimal amounts of

‘fossil based’ energy. The energy

consumption of a building is largely

determined at the design stage. It

is here that energy efficient features

affecting air conditioning and lighting

(the main contributors to energy

consumption) can be incorporated.

Having integrated as many of the

energy efficiency opportunities as

possible in the design stage, consider

carrying out an ABGR commitment

rating. A minimum of 4.5 stars

ABGR should be required, as this is

quite achievable in a well-designed

building without significant cost. At the

design stage, the ABGR will require

modelling of the building’s energy

performance. 24

During operation energy use can

be minimised through building

management techniques such as

provision of a Building User Guide

and encouraging the purchase by

tenants of energy efficient equipment

and appliances (guides at differing

levels of complexity should be

developed for the users, owners and

building managers).

The main techniques for the

minimisation of energy consumption in

the design stage are:

• Passive Design – use of thermal

mass, natural light, natural cooling

and heating potential

• Appropriate sizing of lighting,

heating and cooling systems by

working with the engineers

• Appropriate zoning and sensors

• Appropriate building management

including equipment purchasing

• Use of renewable energy

• Minimising embodied energy in



Passive design is the name given to

any design technique that requires

no active (energy using) intervention.

For example, the use of thermal mass

(e.g. a large slab of concrete) to

absorb heat generated in a building

during the day and then using night

purging to cool the thermal mass is

an example of passive design (see

Figure 15. CH 2 during construction photo

of high thermal mass wavy ceilings, City of


(6 Star Green Star - Office Design v1)

image of concrete ceilings used at

CH 2 above).

The following are a few other

examples of passive design

techniques that can be used:


In areas where the sun can be used

effectively for space heating the

building should be designed with

windows facing north, with care taken

to ensure overheating and glare will

not occur.

21 AGO. (2003) Global Warming – Cool it!, - fact

sheet, Australian Greenhouse Office: Canberra.

22 DEH (2001) Australian State of the Environment

report. The Department of the Environment &

Heritage: Canberra.

23 Emissions credits Emi-1 Emissions ‘Refrigerant

ODP’ and Emi-2 ‘Refrigerant GWP’ www.gbcaus.


24 Simulation package must either: have passed

the BESTEST validation test; be certified in

accordance with ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 140-

2001:“Standard Method of Test for Evaluation of

Building Energy Analysis Computer Programs”

or European Union draft standard EN13791 July



esd opportunities in building


minimising energy use

apartments with no

natural ventilation options

prevailing winds

Figure 16. Floorplate with enclosed


prevailing winds

Figure 17. Floorplate with open circulation.

Thermal cooling

Thermal mass can be used to absorb

excessive day time air temperature.

This excessive heat can be “stripped

out” at night time by passing cool

night air over it in order to cool

the mass so it is ready for use the

next day. Types of thermal mass

approaches are the use of exposed

concrete, stone, labyrinths, water

(for energy storage) and rock stores.

This only works if there is a significant

difference between day and night


Thermal heating

Thermal mass will absorb heat from

any source, for example the sun, and

then radiate that into a space if the air

in that space is cooler than the mass.

This is a particularly good technique

where a lot of heating is needed.

Thermal resistance

Thermal resistance is the R value of a

material, how well it keeps heat from

transferring through it. The higher the

R value the better the insulator.

Night purge

Night purge is where cool night air is

used to cool a space. This will only

work if the night-time air temperature

is significantly less than during the day

(this is referred to as the diurnal range)

and this is generally preferred to be

about 15 o C. Issues to be considered

are the diurnal range, security

(windows open at night may not be

the best solution in some areas) and

design of spaces to allow air to move

freely through the space.

Natural ventilation

Natural ventilation is the use of

windows and the natural conditions

around the building, to ventilate the

building. This requires knowledge of

the beneficial and detrimental winds

in the area, temperature ranges,

humidity and the function of the

building. Usually buildings will require

some kind of additional heating and

cooling, as well as natural ventilation.

(See figures 16 and 17 for how to

capture natural ventilation).

Natural lighting - effective glazing

use (including use of atria)

Glazing is an integral part of a greener

building. It allows in natural light as

well as access to outside views.

Both those are important for user

health and effectiveness. A balance

needs to be struck between the size

of the windows and the benefits and

additional heat loads they create.

The mechanical ESD engineers

can help with this. Consider glazing

types, reflective films, shading, and

particularly rationalising the amount

of glazing required. In Victoria for

example, a 50% glazing ratio has been

shown to be most effective for office

buildings (this will differ State to State).

Minimisation of infiltration

This issue offers significant cost

reductions and is easily integrated

into the building process by good

detailing and construction. Consider

good seals, effective airlocks, effective

HVAC ductwork installation and good

quality facades.

Effective external shading

External shading is very important if

glazing is being used. It is important

because it can reduce heat load while

providing natural light and views.

Effective use of insulation

Use appropriate insulation for the

climate and building type. Ensure

ducts and pipes are well insulated if




esd opportunities in building


minimising energy use

Effective use of thermal stacks

A thermal stack is a large chimney

like structure that draws hot air out of

the building by means of the natural

buoyancy of air. This can be aided

by using dark colours at the top

of the stack, or using fans, and/or

wind turbines if the conditions are


Design of office floor plates

If passive design is being used, then

the design of the office floor plates is

crucial. Natural ventilation needs to

be able to travel through the building

and if closed offices are being

proposed they need to be planned

to allow air to flow in and flow out. In

general partitions should be limited

to 1200mm in height, or if full height

to be located perpendicular to the air

flow (refer figures 19 and 20).

Due to the increased solar load

on northern facades, it can be

advantageous to have the density of

persons on the north façade lower

than that of the south façade.

Heavily polluting equipment should be

put in rooms with mechanical extract

on the east or west facades where

solar gain is hard to control (refer

figure 19).

Climatic Design

Passive Design techniques vary

according to different climate zones.

What works in a temperate climate

like Sydney, may not work in a more

humid environment like Darwin. In

order to carry out effective passive

design, ensure that the project has a

thorough site analysis that ensures

that there is information on:

• site;

• solar access;

• wind direction and speed over an

entire year; and

• climate type.

This will help the designers to choose

which passive design techniques are


Most commercial buildings in Australia

will not be able to be completely

passively designed and will need

some mechanical heating and

cooling. Notwithstanding this, using

appropriate passive techniques

will minimise any additional energy


subtropical (Warm & Humid)

hot & dry

warm dry temperate


cool temperate

Figure 18. Australian climate zones, image

sourced from Doncaster Hill Sustainability

Guidelines, Manningham City Council




Figure 19 + 20. Plan partitions so as to not block flow of air through the building.


esd opportunities in building


minimising energy use

“One of the problems with air

based systems is that they

don’t turn down very well. And

when they get to this low load

situation… they perform badly

and get into all sorts of problems

… yet this is the situation for 80%

of the year.”

Appropriate sizing of building systems

Dr Paul Bannister, Managing Director,

Exergy Australia




Several concepts need to be

understood, and considered, when

choosing heating and cooling plant:

Natural ventilation

Uses external air and air movement to

ventilate a building.

Mechanical ventilation

Uses machines to move the air – fans,

air conditioners etc.

Mixed mode ventilation

Uses a mixture of natural and

mechanical systems.

Refrigerant cooling

Uses ‘refrigerants’ in heat pump

systems (such as a fridge) to move

heat from one place (such as inside

the fridge) to another place (such as

the back or bottom of the fridge).

Evaporative cooling

Uses the latent energy of water

evaporation to remove heat.


A measure of the perception of people

n a space. The Predicted Mean Vote

(PMV ISO 7730-1984) and Adaptive

Comfort (ASHRAE-55 25 ) systems

provide appropriate measures of

comfort. Together they both consider

actors such as radiant temperature,

humidity, radiant symmetry, air

movement, occupant clothing and

activity levels and external ambient


Adaptive comfort

Adaptive comfort assessment

methods allows the designer to

produce a more efficient and smaller

HVAC system.

Radiant cooling/heating

Radiant cooling/heating is the

feeling of heat or ‘coolth’ radiating

from a nearby element (such as

brick wall that has been in sun). A

large percentage of an individual’s

sensation of thermal comfort is from

radiant heat.

Mechanical plant size

Taking passive design elements into

account means that in many cases

the size of the mechanical plant can

be reduced. Setting realistic building

energy needs is also important. This

requires an understanding of how

the building will be used, how many

people will be using it, and for how

many hours.

For example the energy needs for

a 24 hour building that houses a

call centre, with their people and

equipment intensive workspaces,

will be different to a nine-to-five

office housing maintenance staff for

Canberra parks. They may only be in

their office half of the time and spend

most of their time in the field.


Lighting needs to be optimised for

the tasks that will be performed. The

simplest ways of minimising energy

consumption from lighting are to


• energy efficiency fluorescent tubes

(T5 or T8 depending on sitting and

use of light)

• use of natural light

• use of electronic ballasts (7% more


• user controls.

25 ANSI / ASHRAE Standard 55-2004, Thermal

Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.



esd opportunities in building


minimising energy use

The assessment above was

only possible through the active

collaboration of the whole design

team, including the engineers, from

the beginning of the design process.

Where a process such as this is not

possible, then it is important to ensure

that the engineers understand the

relative loads of the building (how

many people, what hours, how much

equipment, glazing, orientation etc.)

and that they use this knowledge to

work effectively with the designers

and the client to optimise comfort and

minimise cost.




Effective zoning means that heating,

cooling and lighting are provided

only when and where needed. This

should form part of the mechanical

engineer’s brief, though it needs input

from the design team, as effective

zoning requires accurate information

on internal layout and fit-out. Sensors

can also be effectively used with an

integrated building management

system in order to turn off or adjust

lights, ventilation, heating and cooling.


Light lux level sensors

Adjust lighting to compensate for the

amount of natural light entering the

space. These sensors are also called

photoelectric sensors.


Switch off lights and other systems at

certain times.

Movement sensors

Turn on lighting and ventilation

systems when movement is detected.

Carbon Dioxide sensors

Adjust ventilation rates so that enough

fresh air is supplied.

Temperature sensors

Adjust ventilation, heating and cooling

systems to maintain comfort in the air.

“The mechanical system was

something very easy to do. The

lighting and lighting controls as

well....we can find out if there is a

leak in the system, or if something

is not working, they’re all alarmed

so we set our alarms to any slight

variations, which immediately

draws attention.”

Metering, lighting and building management

Brindabella Park’s central plant

Martin Osolnik, Associate, Daryl Jackson

Alastair Swayn

The Council House 2 project

(CH 2 ) carried out an assessment

of all of its systems to determine

the risks and opportunities for

lowering energy use. This was

done to assist in the sizing of the

chilled water panels, the sizing

of the chillers and the sizing

of the phase change material

plant. Below is an example of

the analysis and its implications

on cooling load for one section

of CH 2 . This was repeated to

optimise the entire building.

Figure 21. Risk assessment CH 2 for cooling load (AEC, City of Melbourne report).

Note: The result of this analysis

showed that a 95% coverage of

cooling loads would reduce load

by 42% saving around $600,000

in plant.


esd opportunities in building


minimising energy use

“we adopted realistic

accommodation sizing, which

reduced the capital cost of the

plant by $35,000. We adopted

realistic lighting power densities,

which reduced the capital cost

of the plant by $30,000 and we

adopted realistic plug-in load

density and that saved $70,000.”

AGO capital cost reductions

David Oppenheim, Director, Sustainable

Built Environments


Like comfort, a decision needs to

be made at an early stage as to

the amount of control individuals

will have. Studies have shown that

having control over light, ventilation,

heating and cooling will improve a

person’s perception of comfort, but

these needs to be weighed against

the increased use of energy if one

person is turning up the heat while

the other is turning it down. An

example of a compromise design

approach (which aims for maximum

control and efficiency) is to have

standard background lighting, heating

and cooling levels, while allowing

ndividuals to control ventilation

direction and providing a task light.




t is often said that ‘if you can’t

measure it you can’t manage it’,

this holds true for buildings also.

Measuring energy performance

using sub meters on separate floors

and high energy usage areas such

as server room, allows for the early

detection of problems and the

optimisation of performance.

The greatest life-time energy impact

of a building is its operational energy

consumption and therefore having

a good building management

system, with periodic auditing

and improvement, will optimise

performance. Having said this, the

more complex a building and its

systems the more difficult it is to

manage. As a general rule try to keep

a building and its systems as simple

as possible to carry out the functions it

is required to do.

Another tool for minimising energy

consumption during operation is to

have tenant initiatives such as tenant

EMS, green leases and tenant building

user manuals. This can ensure that

the building tenants know how to use

the building effectively and energy

efficiently. Tenant specific lighting and

environmental controls and metering

are particularly effective in supporting

this strategy.

Efficient office equipment specification

Liquid Crystalline Display (LCD) computer

monitors are expected to consume

77% less energy than older cathode

ray tube (CRT) computer monitors. The

adoption of the LCD monitors and the

thin client technology for the computing

requirements will reduce the internal heat

load and therefore, the amount of cooling

which needs to be provided. The thin

client eliminates the need for a Central

Processing Unit (CPU) using 85 Watts at

each desk. Combined with a LCD screen,

at 30W, instead of the 80Watt CRT screen,

this saves 127 watts per desk.

Figure 22. Comparable energy savings between monitor types and client,

CH 2 (AEC, City of Melbourne report).

Note: savings may vary with equipment,

design of the offices and the type of

cooling provided.



esd opportunities in building


minimising energy use

Figure 23. Photovoltaic curtain wall, image

sourced from Doncaster Hill Sustainability

Guidelines, Manningham City Council.

Figure 24. Integrated amorphous

photovoltaic tiles, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council.

(i.e. for photocopiers, computers,

etc.) is one method to minimise

operational energy use. This guide

does not provide detailed advice in

this area, but an effective purchasing

policy, energy saving settings and

periodic review of equipment settings

(people often turn efficiency settings

off when they don’t understand their

function) are initiatives to consider. For

more information see the DEH Green

Office Guide and DEH’s voluntary

environmental purchasing tools (refer

to online resources).


Green Power, Solar Hot Water and

Photovoltaic systems

One main technique for minimising

the greenhouse intensity of the energy

used in a building is to use green

power (electricity which comes from

wind, water or solar sources) and/or to

use a cogeneration system.

Using solar energy for the provision

of hot water is another method for

using renewable energy and reducing

the greenhouse impact of a building.

Solar hot water systems involve

pumping water through pipes that

are laid on an absorber plate. Both of

those are coated with heat absorbing

material. The pipes and plate are

mounted in the sun’s direction to

maximise heat absorbance. The water

absorbs heat and transfers this heat

to a storage tank where it is collected

and ready for use when required.

A photovoltaic system (PV) uses

solar energy to generate electricity.

PV panels are made with a positive

and a negative layer of silicon. When

light falls on these layers, it produces

a potential difference (photovoltage)

between the layers by causing

electrons within the layers to move.

If an external circuit is present, this

voltage can drive a current through it.

This current is then converted to AC

current (the type of current used in the

office) via an inverter. This can then

power normal office appliances and

lights. If the office is connected to the

mains electricity, excess energy can

be redirected to the grid and the meter

turned backwards.



Embodied energy is discussed in

opportunity 7 choosing materials.

26 SEAV (2005) Personal Conversation Sustainable

Energy Authority Victoria 9/3/2005.

27 Crawford R.H. and Treloar G.J. (2004) Net energy

analysis of solar and conventional domestic

hot water systems in Melbourne, Australia Solar

Energy, vol. 76 (1-3), January-March 2004, pp.


28 Going Solar 2005, Conversation 9/03/05.

29 E. A. Alsema and E. Nieuwlaar Energy viability of

photovoltaic systems Energy Policy, Volume 28,

Issue 14, November 2000, Pages 999-1010.

Effectiveness of

hot water and PV systems

Domestic hot water

cost payback: 6-7 years 26

embodied energy

payback: 0.5-2 yrs 27

Domestic and commercial

photovoltaic systems

cost payback: Greater than 10

years 28

embodied energy

payback: 2.5-3 yrs 29

Online Resources

Passive Design Techniques

Square One

Sustainable Building Sourcebook


Renewable Energy


Solar Power

ATA (Alternative Technology


National Renewable Energy


Energy Efficient Fittings & Equipment

Australian Greenhouse Office

Toolkit for local Government

Department of the Environment and


Environmental Purchasing Guide


Green Office Guide



esd opportunities in building


minimising transport impact

Buildings have a role to play in

the minimisation of environmental

impact caused by transport. If there

is a choice of locations, choose

the site with the best access to

public transport (refer Figure 19)

and amenities such as child care,

shops, etc. This will minimise car use.

Smaller cars can also be encouraged

by designing in car parking spaces

that are 2.3 x 5m. Day to day travel

by individuals in cars can also be

reduced by supporting car pooling,

integrating green travel plans and

providing adequate numbers of

cycling facilities. If cycling is to be

encouraged, the building design

needs to include enough space for

secure bicycle parking (refer Figure

20), clothes storage, changing

facilities and showers (a provision for

5% of the staff is common practice). 30

Figure 25. Public transport, image DesignInc.

Bicycles, images freefoto.

In addition, by choosing local

materials you will minimise the

transport impact of bringing these

materials to the building, during

both its construction and operational


30 Green Star - Office Design transport credit Tra-3

‘Cyclist Facilities’

Figure 27. Runners, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council.

30 The Bond, the Bovis Lend

Lease headquarters building in

Sydney included infrastructure

for their staff for cycling and

changing. Another tenant that has

moved into the building saw this

and was inspired to convert car

parking into 13 bicycle parks and

install showers in their tenancy.

The Council House 2 project (CH 2 )

has planned to include bicycle

parking and changing facilities,

but on asking the staff how many

people would be making use of

the facilities they found that they

needed much more space for

change rooms and lockers than

they had initially anticipated. For

this reason a hierarchy of lockers

has been devised depending

on whether people needed the

lockers as part of their day-today

activities such as parking

inspectors or were just using the

facilities occasionally.

Online Resources

Minimising Transport Impacts

Travel Smart Australia




esd opportunities in building


minimising ozone layer depletion

To minimise impact on

the ozone layer during the

maintenance and top-up of

refrigerants, use an automatic

pump-down to either a seperate

storage tank or into the heat

exchanger with isolation valves

fitted to contain refrigerant once

fully pumped down.



The ozone layer is a layer of ozone

(O 3 ) situated far above the build up

of greenhouse gases that protects

the earth from harmful (to humans)

solar radiation. Research has shown

a thinning of the ozone layer all over

the globe. However due to specific

meteorological conditions the most

dramatic depletion is over Antarctica.

Its absence results in increased

exposure to solar radiation and its

detrimental effects – such as skin

cancer, cataracts, disruption of normal

functions of micro-organisms, and

melting of the ice caps.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs),

halons, methyl chloroform,

carbon tetrachloride, HCFCs,

hydrobromofluorocarbons and methyl

bromide are responsible for the ozone

layer depletion. The impact on the

ozone layer is measured by the Ozone

Depletion Potential with CFC-11 set as

Australian Government building

responsibilities are invoked because

Australia is a signatory to the Montreal

protocol. The manufacture, import,

and export of CFCs, halon, methyl

chloroform and carbon tetrachloride

has been controlled in Australia since

1989. These activities were banned for

halon from 31 December 1992, one

year ahead of the Montreal Protocol

requirements. For the other chemicals,

these activities have been banned

since 1 January 1996, except for a

1 and all other gasses given a relative


Ozone depleting substances used in

buildings include chemical refrigerants

used in air-conditioning systems and

fridges, and expanded materials such

as polystyrene.



Minimising emissions that affect the

ozone layer can be done by choosing

non-ozone depleting refrigerants

(such as water, air, CO 2 , ammonium

and hydrocarbons) and ensuring there

are systems in place to minimise or

eliminate refrigerant leaks. 31

Refrigerant leaks can be up to 15%

of the volume of refrigerants per year.

This not only affects the ozone layer,

but also adds to the greenhouse

effect. The global warming caused

by cooling system refrigerant leakage

can be as much as that caused

by the electricity consumed by the

cooling plant. As an example, Green

Star – Office Design v2 specifies

that to achieve the relevant credits,

refrigerants need to have an Ozone

Depleting Potential (ODP) of zero and

a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of

ten or less.

31 Green Star - Office Design v2 Emissions credits

Em-1 ‘Refrigerant ODP’ and Emi-2 ‘Refrigerant


small range of essential uses. Australia

banned importation and manufacture

of CFCs from 31 December 1995.

HCFCs are ozone depleting, but

have a much lower ozone depletion

potential than CFCs, and are

considered a transitional chemical

to assist in the phasing out of

CFCs. They are commonly used as

refrigerants, solvents, and blowing

agents for plastic foam manufacture,

and are scheduled to be phased out

by 2020.

HFCs are not genuinely ozone

friendly. The production of

HFCs uses the very same

halogenated CFCs and HCFCs,

which they were intended to

replace, as emissions during

the manufacturing process

are inevitable. Better options

include using ammonia and

hydrocarbon refrigerants.

Online Resources

Ozone Layer Depletion

Montreal Protocol


Department of the Environment and



a list of class 1 ozone depleting




Bureau of Meteorology


provides an animation on the

chemistry behind ozone layer


Standards Australia - (HB 40.1-2001):

Appendix 3 & 4 summarise OPD

potential for most common types of



Refrigerant Selection Guide 2003



esd opportunities in building


choosing materials

Figure 28. Materials, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council.



The choice of materials in a new or

refurbished building has an impact on

the environment. This impact is not as

large as that of the operation of the

building, but it is still considerable.

Materials impact the environment in

the following ways (they are discussed

in more detail below):

• consuming energy in manufacture

and transport (embodied energy)

• potentially having an impact on

toxicity in manufacture and in use

• using water in manufacture

(called embodied water)

• consuming other materials that

have their own impacts (e.g.

mining, land clearing, etc.)



Choose materials that have a minimal

impact and ensure that they are used

for the maximum amount of time and

are not wasted (waste is discussed


Choosing a material with minimal

impact is difficult. Often you are

comparing completely different

products and impacts; for example,

timber (biodiversity impacts, energy

efficiency and high maintenance)

versus aluminium windows

(high embodied energy and low

maintenance). The best methodology

for comparing materials holistically

is to use Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

The problem though is that material

decisions tend to be made quickly

and may not be able to wait for an

LCA, and there are also many other

factors that need to be considered:

costs, functionality, aesthetics, etc.

For this reason, simplified methods,

guides and rules of thumb are often

used for choosing materials.

For example, choose materials:

• with a high recycled content,

• with low toxic emissions,

• with low embodied energy and

embodied water,

• with an ability to be easily recycled,

• independently certified by a

third party – the Australian

Environmental Labelling

Association etc.

Embodied Energy

Embodied energy is a term used

to describe the inherent amount of

energy in all the materials used to

make a building. This is the sum

of energy expended to make the

bricks, windows, steel beams etc.

To minimise embodied energy, less

energy intensive products that perform

the same function should be chosen.

One way of minimising the embodied

energy in products is to use products

that have recycled content. Many

products use much less energy to

be recycled than to make them in the

first place; for example, only 10% of

the energy used to make aluminium is

needed to make recycled aluminium.

Embodied energy impacts can be

justified in a building designed for


Toxicity in Manufacture and Use

Toxicity is the release of substances

into the environment (water, air,

soil, etc.) that are detrimental to its

normal functioning. Its effects are

often talked about in human life year

equivalents (i.e. the number of years

early the average person will die

because of an emission) or human

disability equivalents (the amount

of impairment to normal function

because of an emission). Toxicity has

a much broader impact to animals

and plants. This is too broad a topic

to be fully explained in this Guide but

the strategies for minimising human



esd opportunities in building


choosing materials

Figure 29. Materials and finishes selection,


toxicity are linked to reduction in other

toxic impacts.

Toxicity, as it pertains to a Government

building, falls into two areas: the first is

toxicity to the users of the building; the

second is toxicity to the environment

through the production of materials

and electricity.

Toxicity to building users is covered

under Indoor Environment Quality

(IEQ) section and the guide to volatile

organic compounds (VOC) limits in

Green Star - Office Design. 32 VOC

emissions are a problem because

some (such as formaldehyde) have

been shown to be carcinogenic. 33

VOC’s also have an impact on

concentration and cause (to a varying

degree) headaches, nausea etc. in

sensitive people.

Minimising the impact on the

environment from the production of

particular materials can be achieved

by specifying substances that avoid

or minimise toxicity. Toxic substances

are listed in the National Pollutant

inventory (NPI). Minimising the impact

of the production of pollution from

power stations can be achieved by

using green power.

Embodied Water

Like embodied energy, embodied

water is the amount of water needed

to produce a product. Currently

there are no Australian guides and

databases on embodied water,

though these are being developed

by organisations such as Deakin


Knock-on Impacts (e.g. in mining,

land clearing, etc.)

This refers to being efficient with

materials use and careful in the

choice of materials that may effect the

environment and biodiversity. There

are two elements to minimising these

impacts: firstly, choose materials

with high recycled content and which

can be recycled at the end of life;

secondly, choose materials that have

third party certification indicating that

sustainable management strategies

are in place.

32 Green Star - Office Design v2 Indoor Environment

Quality credits IEQ-13 ‘Volatile Organic


33 Formaldehyde classified as human carcinogen

International Agency for Research on Cancer,

part of the World Health Organization, released

information 06/15/04


Online Resources




Australian Environmental Labelling


Embodied Energy

Canadian Architect






National Pollutant Inventory

Figure 30. Timber, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council.

Figure 31. EcoCore doors, plantation

veneers, New Age veneers.

Figure 32. Roof garden with use of recycled

glass mulch, Reservoir Civic Centre, Darebin

City Council.


esd opportunities in building


minimising waste

Figure 33: waste management in

construction, DEH.



Waste is a major environmental issue

in the built environment with more

than 40% of landfill resulting from

building-related waste. One of the

major imperatives of sustainable

design is to use the waste hierarchy

of avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle.

That is, do not order it if you do not

need it; plan use so as to optimise

material efficiency (design height for

plasterboard size); put aside cut offs

for later reuse; etc. (see figure 33).



Waste minimisation involves a

diligent approach to documentation

and project management in order

to minimise the amount of waste

produced on site during demolition

and construction. It also recognises

the potential of some materials to

be reused or recycled rather than

allowing them to contribute to waste

volumes going to landfill; the focus

being a more efficient use of finite


The environmental opportunities

of waste management include

the reduction of demolition and

construction waste streams, as well

as those resulting from ongoing

operational waste during the life-cycle

of the building. The key when thinking

about minimising waste is to go

through each decision using the waste

minimisation hierarchy noted above.

Design Stage

The design stage produces very

little waste comparatively. Yet this is

the stage where many of the waste

opportunities can be optimised.

Some strategies are outlined below:

Design for


and design

for standard


Design for


Design of




Design using



Design for

ease of


Design ceiling dimensions

to make best use of

materials – for example

if plasterboard comes in

1200mm don’t design

ceiling heights to be

2700mm, since 2400mm

would make better use of

the material and minimise


Design spaces and

systems that can easily

adapted to changes

in management and

company structures.

More and more systems

are being developed that

allow buildings to be

built in a way that allows

them to be disassembled

and reused. This is not

mainstream in Australia

yet but the trend in Europe

is towards this type of


Linked to the above,

use systems that can be

prefabricated off site and

then assembled on site

saving waste and time.

Design waste areas

with easy access and

spaces on each floor that

encourage staff to recycle.

Documentation Stage

In preparing the specification and

contracts for a new building or

refurbishment, ensure that there are

requirements for waste minimisation.

Require a waste management plan

with periodic reporting, set minimum

performance targets, ensure an

effective induction programme has

been planned for people working

on site, and negotiate with the

contractors that they minimise overordering.

Construction Stage

Construction and demolition waste

makes up 33% of the landfill space

in Australia. This can be reduced in

many cases by 80-90% through better

waste management procedures. You

can encourage contractors to have

a plan of what waste they expect to

be generated by the project, how

they will divert it from landfill, and

where it will be sent for reuse or

recycling. One method for ensuring

that the contractor has the basic

understanding of waste minimisation

requirements is to ask for ISO 14001

certification. This certification is for

all environmental impact, not just

waste. It provides assurance that the

contractor understands how to carry

out an environmental plan and its

associated waste management plan.

Having an ISO 14001 accreditation

is not enough to ensure performance

though; it just demonstrates they

understand the procedures. It is still

important to have regular reports and

reviews on performance.

Operation Stage

During the life of the building,

waste minimisation is a building

management and tenancy issue.

There is a real opportunity for



esd opportunities in building


minimising waste

Figure 34: Old building demolition for reuse,

Reservoir Civic Centre, Darebin City Council.

Figure 35: Old building demolition for reuse,

Reservoir Civic Centre, Darebin City Council.

Figure 36: Waste, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council.

savings by implementing a waste

and recycling reporting, auditing and

management program as part of the

everyday management of the building

(see PCA’s building EMS). Particularly

important is measuring the actual

waste leaving the building and where

it is taken – recycling, landfill, etc. as

it allows for active management of the

waste streams.

Tenant management is another area

of opportunity for waste reduction.

There is an opportunity to influence

tenant behaviour by ensuring

easy access to recycling facilities,

describing what happens to the

recycling and waste streams from the

building and including reports to the

tenants on performance. This can

also be integrated, from the tenant’s

perspective, into a green lease

requiring the building owner to provide

reporting of waste and facilities for


End-of-life Stage

At the end of a building’s useful life

there are several choices: reuse the

building, reuse part of the building,

recycle the building, or demolish

and send the materials to landfill.

The first thing to consider is if it is

possible to reuse the building. This

will require a series of inspections

and assessments of the potential

of the building. It may be also that

just the structure can be reused and

everything else needs to be replaced.

This is still environmentally preferable

in most cases to complete demolition.

When recycling the building, carry out

an existing building audit and plan

what will happen to all of the materials

– who will take them, where they

will be used etc. It is useful to note

that about one half of the embodied

energy in a building is contained in the

structure and the roof.

One government agency recently

carried out an audit of the waste

being taken away by a contractor

over the period of two weeks.

They were paying on the basis

of a service (not mass charging)

arrangement. They found that

the contractor’s guess about the

amount going to landfill was 16

times more than their direct audit.

The audit also found that they could

reduce their waste to landfill by 75%

by simply getting all staff to use the

recycling facilities already available.

Online Resources


EcoRecycle Victoria

Designing in Waste Minimisation

design guide



Clauses which can be used in waste

management contracts


Clean Up Australia

Construction & Demolition

EcoRecycle Victoria

Building Construction & Demolition

Waste resources


Resource NSW

Construction & Demolition Section

Department of the Environment and




esd opportunities in building


water conservation

…studies show that reductions

of up to approximately 80% of

scheme water demand and

90% of sewage discharge can

be achieved in a sustainable

commercial building compared

to a conventional building,

through the integration of

innovative water efficiency

measures, rainfall capture and

use, treated effluent reuse and

evapotranspiration through roof

gardens. 40

There are two topics covered here:

potable water use reduction and storm

water management.



Water scarcity is a major issue for

Australia. While buildings, including

residential ones, only consume 8 to

10% of water in Australia (the major

users being agriculture at 70% and

manufacturing at 20% ) 34 , it is easy to

get 20-50% reductions in building use

through simple measures.

The main driver for water efficiency

in Australian Government buildings

comes from restrictions that are

being placed on water usage. These

restrictions are in place in cities

because of the limited supply of

water. The main uses of water in a

commercial building are toilet flushing,

cooling towers (if present), leakage,

sprinkler testing 37 (if present) and

irrigation (if present).

“In Sydney, the commercial

building sector in Sydney

Water’s area of operations

uses around 100 million litres

of water daily and cooling

towers account for around 30

per cent of this.” 38



Data collected from a desktop study,

and from site assessments of a

variety of government buildings, has

allowed the Institute for Sustainable

Futures at the University of Technology

in Sydney 39 to formulate a model to

estimate the total water consumption

in Australian Government buildings

and operations.

The results of the model indicate

that total Australian Government

water consumption is approximately

19,100 ML/year (equivalent to 73,000

Australian households).



National benchmarks for water

consumption in office buildings have

recently been developed based on

ABGR methodology. As indicated

in the table below, a score of 2.5 is

Australian average practice, with a

score of 5 representing possible best


Star Rating Water Consumption

(kl/m 2 /year)

1 1.50

2 1.25

2.5 1.125

3 1.0

4 0.75

5 0.5




Potable Water Reduction


There are many opportunities that can

be implemented quickly and cheaply

to reduce water consumption.

Figure 37: Breakdown of end use in a typical

commercial building (US data 35 ).



Figure 38: Breakdown of Australian

Government Water use by Building Type

excluding defence. 36

ABS (May 2000), Water Account for Australia

released by the ABS, for the year 1996-97.

35 California Urban Water Conservation Council

(2001), BMP 9 Handbook: A guide to implementing

commercial, industrial, institutional conservation

programs, California Urban Water Conservation

Council, California.

36 Chanan, V., White, S., Jha, M., & Howe, C. 2003,

‘Sustainable Water Management in Commercial

Office Buildings’ Innovations in Water: Ozwater

Convention & Exhibition, Perth, 6-10 April 2003.

37 Research done for the CH 2 building showed that

sprinkler water testing uses about 10KL of water

per week for the average 10 storey building,

this is potable water that can be used for other


38 Hennessy, S. (2004) Where Every Drop

Counts. Engage the Technical Bulletin of AHA

Management, vol. 5 (1).




40 Chanan, V., White, S., Jha, M., & Howe, C. 2003,

‘Sustainable Water Management in Commercial

Office Buildings’ Innovations in Water: Ozwater

Convention & Exhibition, Perth, 6-10 April 2003.



esd opportunities in building


water conservation

Government Buildings – Possible

Water Savings

‘The potential savings available from

Australian Government buildings

and operations are between 4,296

and 7,405 ML/year. This is based

on savings assumptions by building

type developed through the desktop

study and site assessments.

Achieving these savings would cost

between $8.2 and $14.6 million

based on cost assumptions derived

from empirical case studies in the

literature.’ 43

Figure 39: Water reduction methods 42 , ISF.

A dual flush toilet replacing a

single flush unit in an office

building will save approximately

360 litres each working day (90

kL per year) in a female toilet,

an annual financial saving from

potable water alone of about $90

or more. For a male toilet the

saving will be about 40kL/year.

For the Edmund Barton building,

with approximately 2,800 staff, this

would mean an annual saving of

more than 9 ML, or $11,000 for a

A recent study by the Institute for

Sustainable Futures showed that an

80% reduction of potable water and

90% of sewage was possible in a

commercial building

Opportunities for water reduction are

as follows (these are discussed in

greater detail below):

• management and monitoring,

• leak avoidance,

• efficient fixtures and fittings,

• water sensitive landscaping and

• source substitution.

Figure 40: Water image, stock.XCHNG.

Efficient fixtures and fittings

Water efficiency labels are being

Management and monitoring

Regular monitoring of meters

and sub-meters, either manually

or by connection to the Building

introduced for many water-using

appliances. Specification of efficient

fixtures and fittings (as noted below)

can reduce water wastage.

Management System. This is

particularly useful in establishing

base flow rates and then identifying

leaks when water use exceeds normal

variability ranges.

Toilets and urinals

• Toilet and urinal adjustment

– adjust floater to use minimal


• 3/ 4.5L dual flush toilets

Leak avoidance

• Urinal flush controls – sensors

• Report of leaks to building

management - building occupants

should be made aware of where

and to whom they can report any

leaks. It is important to promptly fix

any reported leakages for positive


• Waterless Urinals


• Flow regulators – need good advice

on type as some may result in an

inadequate shower

• AAA or AAAA showerheads – made

• Regular inspections of toilets,

urinals, taps and showers.

to increase pressure so as to still

have a good shower


• Flow restrictors for taps and tap


of under four years.’

• Automatic cut-off and sensor

‘In a busy public building, the

saving from a dual flush toilet

operated taps

retrofit could be more than 1 kL per

day per toilet, or about 400 kL/year

for a building open every day of

the year. The cost of retrofitting

dual flush toilets depends upon

the plumbing changes and

redecorating that would be

required. It can range from $250 to

41 Berry T., Edgerton N., Milne G., Jha M. and White

S. (2004) Feasibility Study for a Policy on Water in

Government Operations, ISF, Sydney, July 2004.)

p. 41-42.

42 Chanan, V., White, S., Jha, M., & Howe, C. 2003,

‘Sustainable Water Management in Commercial

Office Buildings’ Innovations in Water: Ozwater

Convention & Exhibition, Perth, 6-10 April 2003.

43 Berry T., Edgerton N., Milne G., Jha, M. and White

S. 2004, Feasibility Study for a Policy on Water in

Government Operations, ISF, Sydney, July 2004.)


esd opportunities in building


water conservation

Cooling towers

• Making sure float valves are

correctly set.

• Installing a conductivity meter and

automating the blow-down system

to a pre-set conductivity level (Total

Dissolved Solids concentration) of

the re-circulating water.

• Implementing ‘performance-based’


• Reducing heat loads by improving

the energy efficiency of the building

and energy services, which will

also reduce the heat load on

chillers and cooling towers.

• Improving the overall efficiency of

chillers through plant upgrades or

waste heat recovery.

Further options for improving

efficiency in cooling towers can

be found in Sydney Water’s “Best

Practice Guidelines for Cooling Towers

in Commercial Buildings”




Sprinkler water testing

• Ensure sprinkler testing water can

be captured for reuse

• Preferably, use captured water for

potable uses

Figure 41. Reservoir Civic Centre car park

designed to collect rainwater into treed areas,

Darebin City Council.

Water Sensitive Landscaping


• Using native and indigenous plants

for the garden as they require less

water compared to exotic varieties.

• Using mulch in the landscape to

minimise the loss of water from the

soil by evaporation.

• Scheduling the irrigation time using

timer controls so that irrigation is

done after sunset, to minimise loss

of water to evaporation.

• Installing soil moisture sensors

Source Substitution

Other than water efficiency measures,

there are three additional options for

reducing water use from mains: the

first is to collect and use rainwater, the

second to reuse grey water and the

last to recycle all waste water.


Water collected off the roof of a

building. It is dependent on collection

area, rainfall and amount of space

available for water storage tanks.

Grey water

Water from showers, clothes washing

and non-kitchen sinks. For most

commercial and other Government

buildings the amount of grey water

is not significant since there is little

water generated from these sources.

Local regulations will need to be

investigated to see the classification

of grey water. In some States treated

grey water is seen as waste (or black)

water and therefore such systems

need the appropriate authorities to

approve its reuse. In Canberra, the

John Gordon building has been

recycling grey water since the late


Waste or Black water

Water from kitchens and toilets.

Recycling this water is possible with

‘Stormwater recycling can be

encouraged at minimum cost to

Government. Rainwater tanks

connected to roofs provide a

valuable source of water for

gardens, toilet flushing, washing

and hot water. Stormwater

storage underground, which

could form part of an onsite

stormwater retention/

detention system, can also be

incorporated into buildings’. 44

current technology but requires

appropriate permits and a thorough

system of maintenance and

monitoring. There are two types of

recycling – biological (using bacteria

and worms) and mechanical (using

filters). Some examples include the

60L building in Melbourne that uses

a biological system and CH 2 that is

planning to use a mechanical system.


Stormwater is the rainwater that runs

off surfaces such as roads and roofs

into the stormwater system. This water

is a potential resource, but currently

it is mainly collected and run off into

rivers, lakes and the ocean.

Stormwater Opportunities

For government buildings the main

issues with stormwater (adapted

from DEH stormwater guidelines see

link below) are stormwater effective

landscaping, on-site retention, roof

gardens and aquifer storage.

Stormwater effective landscaping

• Using landscaping to absorb

stormwater runoff from paths

• Using semipermeable surfaces

44 EA (2002) Introduction to Urban Stormwater

Management in Australia, Environment Australia,

Canberra. p. 50.




esd opportunities in building


water conservation

On-site stormwater detention (OSD) 45

Best practice on-site stormwater

detention involves:

• Increasing the quality of the water

captured by separation of firstflushes

from later flows. First-flush

water can be contaminated by dust

on roofs, oil on roads and other

pollutants. These can be diverted to

landscaping or can be treated.

• Using screened outlets to closely

control flow rates and capture litter,

debris and sediment.

• Using frequency-staged storage

systems that employ ‘storage’

in lawns and garden soils,

depressions in public open spaces,

and open and covered pavements

such as car parks, but designed

in a staged fashion, so that each

storage comes into operation only

when the preceding one is full.

• Using tailwater compensation to

control discharge when the bed of

the water storage facility lies below

the water surface in the receiving


• Using pump discharge regulation

for controlling pumping from

basement tanks in buildings.

The benefits of OSD are:

• It can be funded immediately

(i.e. by the developer) and

does not require capital outlays

from stormwater management


• It protects downstream properties

against increases in flooding

resulting from new developments.

Roof gardens

In Cities, roofs cover 40-80% of built

areas leading to problems including

higher volumes of stormwater runoff.

A number of countries in Europe have

acknowledged this problem and have

legislated that all public buildings

Figure 42. Queenscliff Ecocentre, DPI Victoria.

should be covered with a roof garden. 45 Ribbons, S., Warwick, M. & Knight, G. (1995).

The German Government contributes Section 94 contributions or on-site detention:

Council’s dilemma. In Preprints of papers: the

50% to the cost of building a roof

second international symposium on urban

garden on either private or public

stormwater management 1995: Integrated

management of urban environments, p. 27.

buildings. Roof gardens absorb about 46 Urriola, Humberto (1999). Roof gardens: an

76 litres of water per square metre of environmental asset. In Wood, J.A. (ed.) (1999).

Water sensitive design & stormwater re-use:

garden space. Super-imposed loads seminar proceedings, 31 March 1999. Stormwater

on the roof structure, plus retained

Industry Association: Sydney, p. 1.

47 Gerges, N.Z. Aquifer storage and recovery: type

rainwater, means that the roof needs and selection of aquifer. Primary Industry and

to be designed for the extra loading. 46 Resources, Canberra.

Green roofs are an example of one

initiative that minimises several

Online Resources

impacts – stormwater run off,


insulation of the roof, and importantly

reduction of the urban heat island Stormwater

effect (the significant increase in air


temperature in built up areas).

Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR)

These involve the harvesting of

City of Calgary – water conservation

surplus stormwater from a variety ideas

of sources. Stormwater can be


temporarily stored in a suitable

aquifer, and then retrieved for potable, Clearwater

irrigation or industrial applications and

pumping it underground. 47 Water Efficiency Labelling

Water Saving Gardens

Yarra Valley Water


esd opportunities in building


land use and ecology

The DPI Queenscliff

research facility in

Victoria minimised its

impact by providing

for regeneration,

provision of habitat

and minimal site


This involved the

remediation of the site

and the construction

of wetlands.

Figure 43. Queenscliff Ecocentre, DPI Victoria.

Figure 44. Native grasses use in the

Reservoir Civic Centre, Darebin City Council.

Online Resources

Land use and Ecology

Department of the Environment and


Australian Museum



The main issues with the choice of

land to be used for a building are to

consider if it is an efficient use of the

land and if it protects biodiversity.

Biodiversity is the richness of animals

and plants that live in an area. The

value of considering biodiversity is

that over 40% of nationally listed

threatened ecological communities 48 ,

and more than 50% of threatened

species, occur in urban fringe areas. 49

The impact of the loss of biodiversity

ranges from not having that animal

or plant present, to systemic chain

reactions that go beyond the scope

of this Guide to explain. Preserving

and enhancing levels of biodiversity is

one of the three key objectives of the




The main issue for Australian

Government buildings is in the land

chosen for a new building and in the

materials chosen for that building.

The main way of minimising this

impact is by choosing a site which

is a ‘brownfield’ site, that has had

buildings or other industrial uses

on it before. This is opposed to a

‘greenfield’ site, which is land that has

previously been undeveloped – park,

farm, bush, etc. The second way to

ensure that the ecological value of

the site is maintained or increased is

to choose native landscaping and to

remediate land if possible.

Green Star and NABERS criteria can

be used for minimising these impacts:

• NABERS looks at the percentage

of native plant cover and the

complexity of that cover.

• Green Star - Office Design looks

at whether the site is a brownfield

or contaminated site, and whether

the ecological value of the site has

been increased by the use of native

plants, wetlands, etc. The Green

Star - Office Design technical

manual is a good resource for this

area of decision making. 50

48 Newman et al. (2001) Human Settlements Theme,

Australia State of the Environment Report 2001. An

independent report to the Commonwealth Minister

for Environment, Department of Environment,

Sport and Territories. CSIRO Publishing,


49 Yencken D. and Wilkinson D. (2000) Resetting

the Compass: Australia’s Journey Towards

Sustainability. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

50 Green Star - Office Design v2 Land use and

Ecology (Eco) set of credits



case studies

8 Brindabella Circuit











Canberra, ACT

Canberra International Airport

Construction Control

Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn Pty Ltd

Rudds Consulting Engineers, Cardno Youngs

4313m 2 net lettable area

Figure 45. Image used with permission of

Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn Pty Ltd. 5 Star,

Green Star - Office Design v1

Eight Brindabella Circuit has achieved

a 5 Star Green Star - Office Design v1

certified rating. Brindabella Business

Park has been designed and built

incorporating sustainable principles.


Energy 610mWh per year

(141 kWh/m 2 )



Gas Emissions

Capital cost



775 kL per year

552 Tonnes CO 2

(128kgCO 2 /m 2 )

12% above

conventional office


$30,103 per year on

energy costs

Figure not yet



• Active Chilled Beams used to

circulate air inside the building.

• Energy efficient light ballasts and

zoned lighting used to reduce

energy consumption, including

an advanced control system that

automatically dims the luminaires

around the perimeter of the

building when daylight is sufficient.

• Extensive research was undertaken

to ensure that all materials used

have either no or extremely low

VOC levels.

• High levels of recycled content was

achieved in concrete, steel and


• Solar Hot Water Panels preheat

100% of all hot water, and provide

approximately 70% of the total heat



8 Brindabella Circuit was designed as

a speculative office building with some

retail spaces. The client was keen to

achieve a 5 star Green Star building

to provide a “green” alternative in the

market, which was also commercially

viable. The building forms part of the

Brindabella Office Park and reflects

the progression of various initiatives

introduced to the suite of buildings

within the park.



This building was constructed in

accordance with a site specific

environmental management plan,

which exceeds both best practice

NSW Environment Management

System Guidelines (1998), and best

practice Australian Government


All the key decision makers involved

in the design phase have undergone

training by the Green Building

Council of Australia and some have

progressed to become Accredited

Green Star Professionals. All workers

are inducted in green construction

techniques, including material

(particularly adhesives and solvents)

selection and recycling. All airport

management and staff have also

undergone green management,

safety, and emergency spill training.

An independent commissioning

agent appointed to the project will

return to 8 Brindabella Circuit every

three months for one year to ensure

absolute compliance with Green Star

specifications. This ensures systems

continue to run as specified and retunes

the system to provide ongoing

energy savings.

A Building User Guide has been

prepared to help the building manager

and occupants understand the

innovative systems installed in the

building, which ensures the systems

are used efficiently.

Solvents used in the cleaning of all

Business Park buildings have been

tested for any impact they may have

on the environment. Occupants and

cleaning staff are required to separate

recyclable and non-recyclable waste.


case studies

8 Brindabella Circuit


Cooling, heating and supplementary

air conditioning water is reticulated

from a Central Services Building,

which in turn serves all the new

buildings in the Brindabella Business

Park. This means the building is more

energy efficient than a building of

similar size. These economies of scale

allow considerable redundant capacity

to be provided, ensuring a consistent

supply of conditioned air and heated

water to the building.

The building uses active chilled

beams to circulate and control the air

temperature. This significantly reduces

the quantity of air moved from the

plantroom, reducing fanpower and

energy consumption. The building

also features passive in-slab heating

and cooling around its perimeter,

ensuring efficient and more constant

temperatures across the tenancy to

improve occupant comfort.

Every substantive energy use within

the building and in the plantroom

is individually monitored and is

connected to a Building Management

System, centrally monitored and

controlled across the park. This allows

detailed analysis of the energy use

of each of the key users of electricity

and, hence, provide for future energy

savings through proper management.

Similarly, sub metering is provided for

lighting and small power uses in each

of the tenancies, and individual tenant

meters can be connected to the

Building Management System.

Artificial light is supplied by highefficiency

single tube 54 watt T5

fittings for all tenant lighting, reducing

the lighting load to approximately 9

watts/m 2 (ordinarily 15 watts/m 2 in a

conventionally lit commercial building).

The building’s perimeter lighting

features a system that automatically

senses when it can dim the lights to

optimise use of the daylight, while

motion sensors turn lights off when

nobody is around.

Lighting zone flexibility ensures that

only occupied areas are lit. This

flexibility is achieved by separate

switches for individual and enclosed

spaces with the size of individually

switched zones not exceeding 100 m 2

and clearly labelled.

Roof top solar hot water panels

preheat 100% of the hot water supply

to the building, cutting energy use for

hot water by two-thirds.


This building saves 687,000 litres

of water a year compared with a

standard building of similar size. The

water efficient devices employed

lead to a 43% reduction in water

consumption. An additional 10% is

saved by rainwater collection.

To achieve this saving, the building

uses a number of systems:

• Water-free urinals: Water-free

urinals utilise a biodegradable

blocking fluid rather than the

conventional flush of water to

contain odours.

• Hands free taps: Infra-red taps

reduce both water and energy

consumption. Water is only

released when hands are under the

infra-red beam below the tap spout.

• 3/6L Dual-.flush toilets: on average

use 4 litres per flush.

• 5A rated shower heads: Shower

heads also achieve a 60%

reduction in water usage.

In addition to the water consumption

savings, the water efficient devices

employed lead to a 36% reduction in

emissions to the sewer.

Water sub meters featuring leak

“The beauty of 8 Brindabella

is its understated greenness

at a reasonable cost to the

client, no gimmicks, no fuss,

just application of sound green


James Andrews, Associate Architect, Daryl

Jackson Alastair Swayn

detection systems are installed

on all water uses in the building,

including cooling towers. In nonmonitored

buildings, water leakages

typically account for 25% of water


All water used for irrigation at

Brindabella Business Park and the

entire airport precinct is recycled,

rainwater or is non-potable

groundwater. Since switching to this

system, Canberra International Airport

has not had to draw on the ACT’s

potable water supply for irrigation. In

addition, a low water use/high efficient

system has been designed. This

consists of local drippers and in-soil

wetting blankets.


Extensive research was undertaken

to ensure that all materials used have

either no or extremely low VOC levels.

In addition, a general exhaust riser is

available for tenants to connect to so

that emissions from photocopying and

printing equipment can be collected at

the source and exhausted.



case studies

8 Brindabella Circuit

The office space is continually

supplied with 100% outside air,

and exceeds the requirements

of AS1668.2 (1991) by 185%.

This ensures continuous fresh air

and no accumulation of airborne

contaminants or objectionable odours

in the building.

The T5 high frequency ballasts used

for artificial lighting minimise the

‘flicker’ typical of fluorescent lights.

Flicker, whether it is consciously or

unconsciously detected, can have

severe effects on workers leading to

eyestrain and headaches.

The building has been certified by an

acoustics consultant to ensure it is

of a low noise level, with the building

services contributing less than 5dB

to the noise within the space. This is

achieved through the use of double

glazing and thick insulation, ensuring

that noise from external sources is

virtually eliminated.

The active chilled beam system allows

conditions in the local area to be

maintained by adjusting the supply

temperature from each unit. These

units service a much smaller area

than is typical for office buildings with

zone sizes reduced from 100m 2 in a

standard building to 35m 2 . This leads

to improved occupant satisfaction

within the space.

External shading on the outside of

the building has been designed to

minimise glare and heat. The shading

devices have been modelled to ensure

maximum passive design savings.

Internal blinds are also included so

that occupants can manually adjust

the level of light entering the building.


Over 30% of the cement used in most

of the concrete has been replaced

with an industrial waste product. This

increases the strength of the concrete

while also using a significant quantity

of what would otherwise go to landfill.

Ninety percent of the steel used the

building is either recycled or reused.

It reuses a significant amount of

steel from demolished buildings,

reducing waste to landfill and meaning

that less energy is required during

manufacture, because the steel does

not have to be re-melted. For all the

major steel uses such as steel beams,

used beams were obtained and

re-worked. The result has been less

energy usage in the rejuvenation than

in the recycling process.

The timber used is almost entirely

sourced from recycled timber

(Blackbutt-Eucalyptus Pilularis)

obtained from demolished buildings.


Over 80% of the waste created by the

construction of 8 Brindabella Circuit

is collected and sorted for re-use/


Office waste is sorted for recycling.

There is a central recycling storage

area in the Park to collect all

recyclables. All workstations in the

Park have separate recyclable and

non-recyclable bins. Organic waste

from landscaping is either recycled or

used as fertiliser for local farmers.


All of the refrigerants used have

an Ozone Depletion Potential of

zero. Insulation products have also

been carefully selected to ensure all

substances used in its manufacture

have an ODP of zero.

Canberra Airport provides and

subsidises a regular bus service.

Buses travel regularly to and from

the airport connecting to the city and

Russell within 15 minutes at just $3.10

for airport tenants.

Optimum levels of car parking are

provided to encourage the use of

alternative transport. In addition, a

number of small car and motorbike

parking spaces have been provided

near the entrance to the building

to encourage the use of more fuel

efficient small cars and mopeds/


Secure enclosed bicycle storage

is provided for staff, with showers,

change rooms and lockers available

adjacent to the bike store.


Canberra International Airport

“We used waterless urinals and

all the A grade fittings and they’re

all hands free activation on all

the taps in the bathrooms etc.

so it’s a sort of measured dose,

and also auto flush cycles on all

the toilets so it takes the chance

of someone leaving a tap on or

something running out of the


Brindabella’s central plant

Martin Osolnik, Associate, Daryl Jackson

Alastair Swayn


case studies

30 The Bond









Millers Point, Sydney

Deutsche Office Trust

Lend Lease Design, PTW Architects, AEC

Bovis Lend Lease, Arup, Lincolne Scott

19,700 m 2 net lettable area

Figure 46. 30 The Bond, Bovis Lend Lease.

30 The Bond is an A Grade office

building located in Millers Point,

Sydney and is currently the

headquarters for Lend Lease. The

building is part of a complex on

Hickson Road which also includes

heritage buildings, a residential

building and a public plaza. “The

Bond” committed to a 5 star energy

rating (AGBR

), resulting in 30% lower

greenhouse emissions than a typical

office building.







Capital cost



1243 mWh per year

(63kWh/m 2 )

Figure not yet


1,162,300kg CO 2 per

year (59kg CO 2 /m 2 )

$112 million

$157,000 per year

(compared to 3 star

AGBR building)

No additional costs


• The building features a 5 star ABGR

energy rating, the first office building

in Australia to sign a commitment


• Features the first use of chilled


• Plants used as a natural air filtration


• High amount of recycled timber

used in the fitout.


The site of the building is within the

former Australian Gas Light (AGL)

gasworks plant established in 1871

to provide lighting to the surrounding

area. A four storey sandstone wall,

originally hewn by convicts, remains

as a main feature of the atrium.

Lend Lease staff gave a large amount

of input into the design and fitout of

the building. Staff identified three key

issues to address in the design of the

building: greenhouse gas emissions,

indoor environment quality and social




The management have taken

thorough steps to ensure the ESD

initiatives incorporated into the design

have been maintained during the

crucial stage of the building’s life

cycle: operation.

Before moving into the premises,

the staff were given presentations

about the sustainability initiatives

incorporated in the building, how the

building works and ways to maintain

the sustainability of the building.

They have also conducted half-yearly

presentations to staff regarding

the results of their pre and postoccupancy

evaluations of the building.

An internal website is updated

each month with waste, water and

energy results so staff can track their

progress. Another website available

is an A-Z users’ guide, so staff have

detailed information on a variety of

topics from the chilled beams to

wintergardens, at their fingertips.


A chilled beam air conditioning

system is the major contributor to the

reduction in energy consumption.

Chilled beams operate by pumping

chilled water through cooling elements

in the ceiling. Hot air created by

occupants and equipment (such as

computers and lights) is cooled by

the chilled beams and falls, creating a

natural convection process of hot air

rising and cold air falling. Additional

radiant cooling from the chilled beams

supports the convection process.

In addition to the chilled beams,

fresh air is continually provided to the

workplace and exhausted out of the

building without being recirculated.

This significantly increases the air

quality within the office space and

considerably reduces the risk of sick

building syndrome.



case studies

30 The Bond

Naturally ventilated sunrooms on each

floor can operate comfortably for up to

60 percent of the year.

The long front elevation of the building

faces desirable views to the west,

overlooking wharves. Overheating

through the expansive glazing is

avoided through use of individually

operated external shades. As workers

tilt the shades to block glare and heat,

they also affect the appearance of a

continuously changing, lively facade

as seen from the street.


The roof top garden has been

planted with native fauna and a

drip soil system with moisture

detection installed to reduce water

consumption. Low flow water fittings

and fixtures have been installed



Staff identified indoor environment

quality as one of the important issues

they wished to address.

Fresh air is constantly supplied

throughout the building. Broad leaf

plants placed around offices help

oxygenate the air.

Low VOC materials were chosen

where possible.

A roof garden, featuring mainly native

flora, acts as a social hub for the



Bamboo flooring and products are

used extensively throughout the

building. Other timbers used have

either been recycled or harvested from

sustainable plantations.

Low VOC products, including cork (a

renewable resource), were used for

interior walls. Sourcing also included

goat’s hair carpets.

Ninety-six percent of the components

of office chairs can be reused, and

contain 42% recycled material.


The site’s former life as home to

AGL’s first gas manufacturing plant in

Sydney meant residual contamination,

including tarry waste, remained

beneath the ground. Remediation

works were carried out which included

installing permanent groundwater

barrier walls (secant piles), excavation

of tar and applying odour suppressing

techniques to the removed tarry

waste. The project team also applied

new on-site mixing techniques which

proved successful in turning the

semi-liquid tar into a more stable,

manageable material for removal,

transportation and treatment offsite.


Bike racks, lockers and showers have

been provided for 5% of the staff. A

tenant has purchased a car parking

space to add a further 14 bike spaces

and has installed showers and lockers

on their floor.

Public transport is readily available,

with the building located 500m from

two railway stations, two ferry stations

and a bus.


Eco friendly building 2004, radio

broadcast, Earthbeat - ABC Radio

National, Sydney, 24/02/05. Transcript


/ / /


Architecture Week. 2003, Sustaining

Sydney Spaces, Architecture Week,

/ / 1-1.html

Edwards, P. 2003, Developers viewpoint

on a sustainable approach, Bovis Lend


Lend Lease. 2003, Lend Lease Unveils

Australia’s First Five Star Greenhouse

Office Building, Lend Lease,

/ / / /


“In terms of artificial components

on energy efficiency, we have

T5 lighting…We’re achieving 6.7

watts per square metre....”

Energy efficiency

30 the Bond

Paul Edwards, General Manager,

Environment Sustainability Initiatives, Lend

Lease Australia Pacific


case studies

CH2, Council House 2










Melbourne, Victoria

City of Melbourne

City of Melbourne

Mick Pearce (CoM) and DesignInc

Lincolne Scott, AEC, Bonacci Group

9,373m 2 net lettable area

The City of Melbourne’s Council

House 2 (CH 2 ) has achieved a 6

Star Green Star - Office Design v1

certified rating. Set in the heart of

Melbourne CBD, CH 2 will house

540 council employees as well as

incorporate retail outlets on the lower

floors. Sustainable principles have

been incorporated every detail of

the design. Significant reductions in

greenhouse gas emissions have been

achieved – in this case, 87% less

than the existing council house next

door. This project is expected to be







Capital cost



515.5 mWh per year

(55 kWh/m 2 )

100kL mined per

day, 72% reduction in

potable water use

562 Tonnes CO 2 per

year (60kgCO 2 /m 2 )

$51 million for the

building excluding


$1.2 million per year

Around 10 years

Note: This building is still in construction

stage. Figures given are estimates of final



• 6 star Green Star rating.

• Features shower towers, phase

change materials and chilled ceiling

beams as the air conditioning


• Water mining plant that recycles

black water from city’s sewers for

non-potable reuse.

• Vertical garden on the north façade

to minimise glare and increase



The Melbourne City Council is

known for its role as a leading green

organisation and wanted the design

of their new council building to

reflect their position. They desired

a lighthouse project that would

demonstrate what a green building,

integrated into an urban environment,

could achieve. In addition to the

projected energy and water savings,

the key driver of the project was to

create an environment that promoted

staff well-being, retention and




An Environmental Management Plan

was required at tender stage. The

contractor was also required to be

certified to ISO 14001 Standard.

A Building User’s Guide will be

Figure 47. CH 2 Swanston Street view, City of

Melbourne. 6 Star, Green Star - Office Design


developed and available to all building

users, occupiers and tenants to

promote effective and efficient use of

the building.


Chilled beams on the ceilings aid air

circulation and radiant cooling. This

process allows significant energy

savings. The heat from occupants

and equipment is absorbed into the

thermal mass, circulating fluid passing

through chilled beams.

The building is naturally cooled at

night. This process is called night

purging. Windows on the north and

south facades open to allow the air

to flow through the space. The heat

absorbed by the high thermal mass

building structure, during the day time

operation, is released to the cool night

air as it flows through the building at


There are five shower towers on the

outside of the building that condition

the air on the ground floor and retail

space. The water is evaporatively

cooled and used to remove heat from

the Phase Change Material which, in

turn, is use to cool the water that runs

through the chilled beams.



case studies

CH2, Council House 2

Photovoltaic cells on the roof generate

3.5kW of energy, enough to power

the wooden louvres on the western

façade. Electrical heat and energy is

also supplied by a micro-turbine cogeneration


General light levels are kept low. Office

lighting is zoned into areas no larger

than 100m 2 . They use high frequency

T5 ballasts that achieve lighting power

density of less than 2.5 Watts/m 2 per

100 lux. Task lighting is provided to

employee work areas.

Highly energy efficient equipment

such as LCD monitors are used.


A water mining plant in the basement

draws 100,000 litres per day of black

water from the city’s sewer system for

recycling. This purified water is used

for purposes such as plant watering

and toilet flushing. Surplus amounts

are used in fountains, street cleaning

and plant irrigation around the city of


Rainwater is collected and used with

the recycled water to irrigate the


All fittings are AAAA rated. This

comprises low-flow shower heads,

dual-flush toilets and sensor-triggered

flushing for the urinals.

Solar Hot Water Panels on the

roof provide 60% of the hot water

supply normally supplied by the cogeneration



One hundred percent fresh air is

funnelled down vertical turbine shafts

that supply air to the office space via

vents in the floor. These vents can

be adjusted by the users for comfort.

C0 2 levels in the air are constantly

monitored and fresh air supplied


Natural light is provided where

possible. The lower levels, which

are exposed to less light than upper

levels, have larger windows. To

minimise glare and heat, louvres

are positioned on the east and west

façades, made up respectively of

perforated steel and recycled timber.

The northern façade also features

a vertical garden, which provides

shading as well as a micro climate for

the balcony areas.

Light shelves inside and outside

reflect light onto the ceiling, providing

diffused lighting. Light levels are

kept to 320 lux. Task lighting will be

provided for individuals.

Plants are specifically selected for

their ability to filter toxins for the air are

placed around the office space.

The council expects between a one

and five percent increase in staff

effectiveness due to the increased

ambience and air quality.


Sixty percent recycled steel was used

for structural components. This had to

be sourced from outside Australia to

guarantee the recycled content.

Low VOC products are used, where

possible, to replace high VOC

products in paint finishes, laminates

and woods.

Ninety percent of the timber used is

recycled or sustainably harvested.

PVC use in hydraulics and electrical

components has been eliminated.


During the construction period, CH2’s

contractors will recycle 80% of the

construction waste.

Recycling facilities to recycle all types

of office waste will be provided to



CH2 is located in the heart of

Melbourne’s CBD, with convenient

access to public transport. Keeping

this in mind, there are 80 bicycle

storage spaces (10% of staff) with

shower facilities. There are visitor

bike parking facilities near the front

entrance. Twenty two car parking

spaces have been provided in the

basement area.


City of Melbourne

“We use natural ventilation for

night flushing. This cools the

concrete ceiling down, and we

expose as much thermal mass to

the space, which works on the

principle that we feel more radiant


Night flushing

CH 2

Mick Pearce, Design Manager, City of



case studies

743 Ann Street








Existing - Refurbished

Warm - Humid

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

PMM Group

TVS Partnership Architects

Lincolne Scott

1821.07m 2 net lettable area

Figure 48. 743 Ann Street, TVS Partnership.

The building is a complete

transformation of an outdated 1980’s

office building into a commercially

viable and sustainable development. It

comprises of the headquarters of the

PMM group, a town planning, urban

design and surveying firm, and retail

shops at street level.


Energy Figure not yet available

Water 1,138kL per year

Greenhouse Figure not yet available



Capital cost $4.4 million (including


Savings Figure not yet available

Payback Figure not yet available


• Solar hot water panels provide hot

water to the tenants.

• A thermosiphon wall reduces heat

load in the building.

• Bio filter plants filter pollutants from

the air.

• Where possible, materials were

recycled from the original building.


The aim of the building’s urban

renewal was to develop an external

built form with striking street

appeal, housing an attractive,

healthy and functional workplace

for staff, showcasing a multitude of

sustainable, leading edge design




The ESD elements of the building

have been promoted by management.

By January 2005, over 1,000 visitors

(including international groups) have

toured the building, hosted and

guided by trained PMM management

and staff.

A Building User Guide was developed

so that building users understand

and know how to maintain the ESD

features in the building. There are also

monitoring programs and educational

displays in the foyer of the building

that provide ongoing information on

the building’s performance in water

and energy consumption.

Staff actively and enthusiastically

participate in a committee known

as “Team Green”, ensuring

the monitoring and ongoing

improvements of the building’s

environmental performance, including

energy and water saving measures,

transport initiatives and recycling



Passive thermal and solar design

principles used in the building reduce

the amount of energy it consumes.

The general air conditioning system

is turned off after hours to prevent

unnecessary cooling. Localised units

were installed for tenants to use as

required. All switches and timers are

clearly identified to avoid unnecessary


Skylights on the second (top) level

of the office provide natural light to

the occupants, reducing the need for

artificial lighting.

Artificial lighting is provided by high

frequency T5 ballasts.

Solar hot water panels provide the hot

water demands and photovoltaic cells

on the roof provide additional energy,

supplementing the mains power. The

cells produce between 4-4.5 MW

a year, which is enough to power a

residential house.

The building was fitted out with energy

efficient appliances such as fridges,

microwaves and dishwashers.

Heating and cooling is controlled

through a digital system that is part of

the security and timing switch system.



case studies

743 Ann Street


Stormwater is stored in a 11,000L

storage tank and used to flush toilets

and irrigate xeriscaped gardens.

A heat trace system on the hot water

pipes makes hot water immediately

available to users, saving on running

cold water out of taps prior to use.

Water efficient fixtures such as AAA

rated shower roses, sink aerators and

dual flush toilets were installed, as well

as waterless urinals.


The north-west wall of the building

features a thermosiphon wall that

regulates the heat load inside the

building by absorbing the sun’s heat

on the wall, which causes hot air in the

vent behind the wall to rise and exit

from the top of the wall on hotter days.

The building’s atrium is naturally

ventilated through the use of

thermostatic controlled vents.

Natural lighting has been maximised

through the use of skylights and

sunshade structures over the front

patio area that restrict heat from

penetrating the building. Doubleglazed

windows help restrict heat and

noise entering the building from Ann


A Biofilter planter system in the foyer

uses potted plants and charcoal to

filter internal air and remove pollutants.

Low VOC finishes and products were

used throughout.


One of the aims of the design was

to reuse as much of the existing

building materials as possible and

to maximise recycling of demolished

waste materials. Ceiling tiles, ceiling

grid, glass and metal elements were


Plantation pine rather than steel was

used for stud frames to partition walls

rather than steel.

The walls are painted in Rockcote

EcoStyle paints which are odourless,

without toxic fumes and low in

hazardous chemicals and solvents.

The Interface modular carpet is also


The timber used for the patio is

constructed using Modwood, which

is made from sawdust and recycled

domestic plastics.

Modular workstations can easily be

refigured, and are made from E1

emission rated particleboard, recycled

plastic edge strip, and recycled

rubber/foam materials.


A waste management system was

implemented by builder Multiplex,

achieving the recycling of 80% of

demolished materials.

Ongoing waste management

strategies include organic waste

recycling, which is fed to a

vermiculture station (worm farm)

adjacent to the staff cafeteria. The

resulting compost is used in the

gardens. The building also has an

extensive paper recycling scheme.


The PMM Group were conscious of

site selection. The building is located

close to a train station and has bus

access at its door. Staff are actively

encouraged to car pool and utilise

public transport in travelling to work.

Bicycle facilities including lockers and

showers have been provided and

electric bikes, smart and hybrid cars

have been investigated to replace

company vehicles.


CD Rom: 743 Ann St Brisbane

Redevelopment for the future, EPA Qld &

PMM Group 2003.

“In Ann St, the major energy

efficiency initiative we introduced

was a thermosiphon naturally

ventilated system into the atrium

of the building… other important

features included energy efficient

T5 lighting, carefully considered

zoning related to occupant

layouts and maximum daylight

usage. We established a system

where it is hard for people to turn

on excess lights… and… simple

things like clear identification on

the switches…”

Energy efficiency initiatives

743 Ann Street

Mark Thomson, Director, TVS Partnership


case studies

SES Headquarters










Melbourne, Victoria

Victorian State Emergency Services

H2o Architects


1700 m 2 net lettable area

Figure 49. SES Headquarters, H2o architects.

The new Victorian State Emergency

Services headquarters are located in

the Melbourne CBD. The building has

won several awards for its approach

to sustainable design and architecture

and was a finalist in the “Leadership in

Sustainable Buildings” category in the

2004 Banksia Awards.


Energy 510 mWh per year (300

kWh/m 2 )

Water Figure not yet available

Greenhouse Figure not yet available



Capital cost



$3.5 million

construction costs, $6.5

million total end costs

Figure not yet available

Figure not yet available


• Maximising use of natural lighting

to reduce need for artificial lighting.

• Solar hot water panels provide

most water heating requirements.

• Central ducted vacuum system

takes dust and other pollutants

outside into a collector located in

the car park, rather than allowing

portions to escape into the air from

conventional vacuums.


The brief from the Department of

Justice was to design and construct

a benchmark environmentally

responsive building as a model

to the construction industry and

other government departments.

This outcome was achieved by


• A design with a shape and

form responding to sustainable


• Passive and active venting and

lighting solutions;

• Sustainable material selection; and

• Promotion of sustainable

construction approaches.



Natural lighting is an important

energy saving feature in the design

of the building. The main façade

is orientated towards a southerly

direction with minimal exposure to

the west and south. North facing

clearstory windows provide most of

the natural light needed for most of

the year. Internal light shelves direct

and diffuse the light into the office

spaces through the clerestory louvre

windows. External shading has been

designed so that it limits the amount

of sunlight and solar radiation in the

summer, whilst allowing both to enter

in the winter period.

Artificial lighting is supplied by lowenergy,

high frequency T5 tubes.

These uplights focus the light towards

the curved ceilings, which are painted

white, to evenly distribute the light

over the workspace. They are also

dimmable and are programmed via

a central system that measures the

amount of natural light present. A

conscious effort made by the design

team was to provide only 200 lux

to the working area when operating

at 100%. This level is below the

recommended 320 lux. This was to

encourage the use of task lighting

when required. The task lights are also

wired so that they are turned off by

the central control system when out of


Passive cooling / heating is provided

by a large concrete slab located

underneath the raised floor. Night

purging using outdoor air cools

the slab which stores coolth and

then releases it over a period,

thereby reducing the instantaneous

cooling load and reducing energy




case studies

SES Headquarters


Eight solar hot water panels

provide most of the water heating

requirements. However, the water

supply is linked to a central gas

service which boosts the supply

on cloudy days and when demand

exceeds hot water supplied by the

solar panels.


The building uses a mixed mode

ventilation system combining natural

ventilation from louvres located on

the south side (sea breezes) with

an underfloor displacement air

conditioning system. The intent of

this design was to allow occupants

in each bay to choose the mode of

ventilation desired. Floor vents are

also adjustable to suit individual users

comfort levels.

Air quality has been increased by

the installation of a central vacuum

system which prevents the recycling of

dust from cleaning. The main storage

unit and pump is located in the car

park area. Piping from the wall outlets

to the main unit is located in the raised

floor plenum.

Low VOC materials were used where

possible, including paint selection,

plywood for flooring and low-allergenic

polyester insulation.


Waste reduction methods were

employed throughout construction. To

reduce wastage, as much as possible

of the ground-floor slab from the

previous building was used as the car

park base. Sorting for recycling was

also employed

Recycled materials were also chosen

in preference to new. This included

using recycled bricks and formwork


Plantation harvested timbers were

used in structural flooring.


Following occupation, the SES

management decided to operate

on full air conditioning mode rather

than natural ventilation. The building

functioned well in natural ventilation

mode; however they found that odours

arising from the building’s proximity

to a highway tunnel were flowing

towards the building during certain

climatic conditions. Investigations

are underway to link the Building

Automation System to Citylink’s (the

tunnel’s authority) monitoring stations

to control the ventilation.



• Architect t (Melbourne / Australia),

October 2002, pages 20 – 21.

• Steel Profile (Melbourne / Australia),

December 2002, cover and pages 30

– 38.

• The Architectural Review (London /

United Kingdom), issue 1274, April

2003, pages 52 – 55.

• Indesign (Sydney / Australia), issue 13,

May 2003, pages 112 - 119

• Herald Sun (Melbourne / Australia), 9

October 2003, page 38.

“Developing a building profile ...

has allowed us to heat and cool

naturally for part of the year, to

light the building naturally for as

much of the year as possible and

ventilate the building naturally.

We did this by establishing a

long narrow floor plate, by having

openable vents in the south

façade, extracting the air through

a series of louvres on the north

façade and minimising glazing

from east to west. This set-up an

opportunity to minimise running

costs by not having to use

artificial systems.“

Natural ventilation and lighting

SES Headquarters

Tim Hurburgh, Director + Principal, H2o



case studies

Waalitj Building: Murdoch University

The Waalitj Environmental Technology

Centre is a complex situated within

the grounds of the Murdoch University

Campus in Perth. The site features an

office area, research laboratories and

an exhibition space.







Figure not yet available

252 l/day

Capital cost $320,000




CLIMATE Hot dry, cold winter

LOCATION Perth, Western Australia

CLIENT Murdoch University, Environmental Technology


ARCHITECTS Earth House, Marco Vittino

ENGINEERS Consortium Builders and Healey Engineering

SIZE 100m 2 of office space plus lecture, gallery and

teaching areas

Figure not yet available

Figure not yet available

Figure not yet available


• Use of thermal mass walls made

of rammed earth and recycled

materials to control heat.

• Solar heating and cooling system,

and collection of solar energy.

• Sewerage treated then used to

irrigate landscaping.

• High use of recycled materials in

construction, preventing waste

going to landfill.


The clients desired a “functional

sustainable building” that incorporated

sustainability principles into the

building development process. Their

target was a zero emission building.



The site of the technology centre

was chosen due to the fact that the

land had been cleared some years

previous and it minimised the need for


The Building Management System

was built with an internet server so that

it can provide information about the

performance of the building on simple

internet pages.


The south wall of the office

building provides most of the light

requirements. The designers wanted

to use the diffuse uniform light

provided from the south to prevent

excess glare for those using computer


The building has 30cm thick thermal

mass outer walls which helps keep the

air temperature inside the buildings


A Photovoltaic System on the roof

generates 3kW and is used to power

lighting, fans and office equipment.

Excess energy is pumped into the

main grid.

Solar hot water panels are mounted

on the roof and provide most of

Figure 50. Waalitj building, Murdoch


the hot water needs. During cloudy

periods an electric booster is used to

meet the shortfall.

A roof plenum solar heating and

cooling system has been installed.

In winter, warm air from the office

interior is drawn into the plenum were

it is warmed by heat generated from

sunlight hitting the roof panels. The

warmed air is then blown into the

office space by fans. In summer,

warm air from the office rises and is

expelled from the plenum by fan to the

outside. A ceiling dampener is closed

to prevent the roof’s warm air from

entering back into the office. At night,

cool air from outside is drawn into

the room and the warm air is purged.

The building management system

monitors the temperature within the

plenum and the office area so that

during the winter, for example, it will

purge the warmer air from the plenum

into the office space.

An in-slab floor heating system uses

a Phase Change Material (PCM)

embedded within the concrete to

control the amount of heat released,

which is done slowly, gently warming

the air near the floor area.



case studies

Waalitj Building: Murdoch University


The Waalitj building utilises storm

water and black water to minimise

use of potable water. Rain water

from the roof of the building is used

to water the native garden and the

remainder flows into an ephemeral,

infiltration basin next to the car park,

encouraging biodiversity through

wetland bio-mimicry. The waste water

from the kitchen and toilets is treated

by an aerobic treatment unit (ATU)

before irrigating the courtyard lawn

and gardens through drip irrigation.

This provides a pleasant outdoor area

for staff and visitors.

A south facing colling pond,

landscaped and fed by storm water

(topped up by bore water) in front of

a low gable window takes advantage

of prevailing summer winds to deliver

cool air to the building for summer

heat relief.

Elsewhere on site there are rainwater

tabks, waterless toilets, greywater

diverters, a reverse osmosis

desalination unit, a flow form, drip

irrigation and several ponds serving

various purposes.

The average water use from the two

toilets and kitchen is 252L/day or



Operable walls form part of the

wall along the western edge of the

courtyard. These walls reflect and

channel winds into areas to aid cross

ventilation of the buildings. In the

winter, the walls are kept closed to

protect the buildings from cold wind.

Small north facing windows are used

to prevent excessive heat in summer

and prevent glare on computer

equipment. The architects decided

on large south facing windows to

naturally light the space.

Evaporative cooling ponds were

designed into the office space. These

ponds cool the hot easterly breeze

that enters the building in the summer.

The pond sources its water from the

excess rainwater from the roof.

Many of the walls are left untreated,

however, where plasterboard is used,

it is painted with organic finishes.

Planting has been used extensively

buildings to provide shade for the

buildings and for landscaping around

the complex. A mixture of low-water

use plants as well as fruit trees and

herbal gardens have been used.


A great amount of thought and effort

went into the choice of materials.

Where possible, materials that were

recycled, or which incorporated waste

products, or have low embodied

energy were used. The industrial byproducts

used were sourced locally.

Concrete for the floor slab is made

of crushed concrete waste, windowglass

waste and coal fly ash. This

reduces the cost of cement as well as

reduces the amount of raw materials

used. It also diverts materials from

going to landfill.

The thermal mass walls are made of

10% cement with stabilised building

rubble made up mostly of recycled

red brick. They are also are made of

stabilised, rammed recycled earth.

The courtyard pavers are cement

mixed with 10-15% coal fly ash. This

reduced the embodied energy and

cost of the pavers.

The operable walls form part of the

wall along the western edge of the

courtyard. These are made from

recycled plastic panels.


The site is located within the Murdoch

University Campus, approximately 15

minutes walk from the main areas off

the campus. The centre has provided

approximately 100 bikes for free

use as a means of commuting from

the main campus to the technology


There are also public transport

facilities approximately 150m from the

site. The university also encourages

car pooling amongst staff.


Murdoch University Environmental

Technology Centre



case studies

National Museum of Australia










New Museum


Canberra, ACT

Commonwealth and ACT Governments

An association of Ashton Raggatt McDougall

and Robert Peck von Hartel Trethowan

Lend Lease Projects

Tyco International and Honeywell

Anway and Company Inc, Boston USA

6600m 2 of exhibition space

Figure 51. National Museum of Australia.

Photo George Serras.

Australia’s new National Museum

was opened in 2001. It is a stunning

building and architecturally bold. It

is very much a modern building with

obvious post modern influences.

As with any museum, there are certain

limitations inherent in protecting and

displaying archival material. In terms

of the elements of environmentally

preferable building construction

and maintenance, there are always

actions and choices that can be

made. Within these constraints, the

National Museum is continuing to find

ways of improving its environmental




The National Museum uses filtered

natural lighting in the Exhibition

Galleries in order to meet specific lux

and UV levels set by conservation

standards. Generally lighting in

exhibition cases is limited to 50 lux

and around 200 lux for walkways and

external case lighting.

In other public areas, particularly the

spectacular Main Hall, large feature

windows and skylights maximise the

use of natural light.


The lighting control system installed

by the National Museum of

Australia is a Dynalite Direct Digital

Lighting System. It controls all

lighting throughout the Gallery and

Administration areas.

Over the past three years the National

Museum has worked with their

specialist lighting contractors Sound

Advice to systematically reduce the lux

levels in exhibition cases to the levels

required by Conservation standards.

This had to be balanced with ensuring

that signage is legible and object

details are still captured for the public

to see.

Also in the past three years the

National Museum has been

progressively changing

the lamping configurations of the

exhibition spaces. To date, the

National Museum has replaced

around 95% of the 50 watt, 10

degree angle dichroic lamps with 35

watt 24-38-60 degree lamps. This

has dropped the light levels to an

average of 50 lux but has increased

the readability of exhibition text and

signage within the gallery spaces.

Aside from the immediate 15 watt

reduction in energy usage per lamp

the change has reduced condensed

heat off the lamps and extended lamp


In addition to the re-lamping of the

exhibition cases the National Museum

has undertaken to retrofit the single

channel systems to multi-channel

dimming controllers. This gives the

capacity to program individual lights

or sets of lights to specific lux levels

or set lights to highlight objects or

signage more clearly. A further benefit

is more flexibility with design options

within the exhibition cases when not

constrained to having one lighting


In open exhibition and public areas

where 500 watt lamps were utilised,

we have re-lamped with 300 watt

lamps, gaining a reduction in energy

usage while maintaining lighting levels

in the concourse areas.

The Dynalite system allows us to

utilise ‘soft starting’ procedures and

specific dimming settings of lights for

cleaning, security patrols and general

operations and exhibition timeframes.

This has prolonged lamp life

significantly and reduced maintenance

requirements to the areas.



case studies

National Museum of Australia


The actual National Museum building

is of a modern design encompassing

the whole site so it has a large

building ‘footprint.’ The building’s

thermal shell or envelope consists

of an anodised aluminium aesthetic

covering, with an external rain shield

of galvanised iron sheeting. There are

R4 rated insulation batts. There are

also concrete panels which increase

the thermal mass in one gallery area

and associated ‘back of house’ work


There have been some issues in

maintaining positive air pressure

within the gallery spaces particularly in

scenarios with a failed air-conditioning


Even with the use of double glazed

windows, the high and wide expanse

of the glazed areas requires

significant energy usage to maintain

environmental conditions. The

majority of the National Museum plant

operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per


Within the design of the Heating

and Ventilation and Air conditioning

(HVAC) system, use of enthalpy or

heat recovery wheels provides some

pre-heating or pre-cooling of the air

brought into the building. This helps

to maintain environmental conditions,

fresh air requirements and to maintain

pressurisation within zoned areas.

Additionally the HVAC system utilises

Carbon Dioxide (CO 2

) sensors to allow

for greater fresh air flow when CO 2

levels increase within specific zones.


The architects have utilised modern

materials to meet the modern layout

and aesthetics required for the design.

The structure is a combination of

poured concrete, steel frame or

prestressed prefabricated concrete

panels. Anodised feature aluminium

panels are a predominate aspect

of the external building structure.

Some areas have poured concrete

panelling in some areas (fast erection

times, with reasonably good thermal

efficiency). The internal fixings are

mainly of plasterboard or similar



The National Museum uses dual flush

toilets and auto flush urinal systems to

reduce water consumption.


The National Museum has added

Power Factor Correction to better

manage load sharing across major

plant. The National Museum has

been supplemented by an Energy

Monitoring system in the last six

months. It is envisaged that energy

saving trends will begin to emerge

as a full annual operating cycle is



A special project management style

was developed for the design and

construction of the National Museum.

In a world first for a major public

building construction project of this

size, it was decided to join members

of the design and construction team

in an innovative ‘Project Alliance’

which would deliver the new facilities.

The Alliance partners agreed at the

commencement of the project to be

jointly responsible for the total project

results, pledging themselves to work

cooperatively in an integrated team to

achieve agreed cost, time and quality

targets. The agreement provided

financial incentives to encourage and

reward outstanding performance, as

“The National Museum has an

ongoing responsibility to protect

culturally significant sites on the

Acton Peninsula on which the

National Museum buildings are


well as financial penalties if cost, time

or quality targets were not achieved.

The Alliance agreement promoted

a ‘no dispute’ culture, prohibited

litigation except for wilful default, and

avoided the adversarial approach

associated with many traditional

contracts The result was the project

came in on budget and on time and

with the private sector partners’ profits



There is both responsibility and

opportunities in the fact that these are

public buildings. The responsibility

is to involve key stakeholders

like indigenous landholders and

the community in the process of

creating the building. There are great

opportunities to educate the public

about art, history and the environment

as well as sustainable design.

For the National Museum of Australia,

the traditional owners of the Acton

Peninsula were consulted about

the development of the site. Before

building began a smoking ceremony

was performed by the Ngunnawal

people to purify the site.

The National Museum has an

ongoing responsibility to protect

culturally significant sites on the Acton

Peninsula on which the National

Museum buildings are located.


case studies

National Museum of Australia

During the development of the design

and building, collaboration and

cooperation was emphasised through

membership on committees and

memoranda of understanding with

neighbours, such as the Australian

Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander Studies and the Australian

National University.

The National Museum also integrates

environmentally sustainable

development information into

exhibitions when appropriate i.e.

Tangled Destinies gallery.


National Museum of Australia,

National Museum of Australia, 2004,

National Museum of Australia Annual

Report 2003-2004, National Museum

of Australia Press, Canberra.

National Museum of Australia, 2003,

Land Nation People: The Annual

Report of National Museum of Australia

2002-2003, National Museum of

Australia Press, Canberra.

Weber, Therese (ed) 2003, Land

Nation People: Stories from the

National Museum of Australia, National

Museum of Australia Press, Canberra.

Figure 52. National Museum of Australia, Interior of Main Hall. Photo John Gollings.



case studies

60L: 60 Leicester Street








Part new and part existing – Refurbished


Carlton, Victoria

The Green Building Partnership


AEC, John Mullen & Partners. Lincolne Scott

3375m² lettable floor space

Figure 53. 60 Leicester Street, Carlton.

60 Leicester Street is located in

Carlton, an inner suburb of Melbourne.

Built in the late 1800’s the former

factory building has had a new

third floor built and has been fully

refurbished. The old section has

been integrated with a new building.

Currently the building has 15 tenants

including the Australian Conservation



Energy Uses 30% of the

average energy

consumption of

commercial office

buildings in Melbourne.

Water Reduced mains water

consumption by over

80% compared to a

conventional building.




Project cost



Zero - purchases

100% new green

power and is

therefore considered

“greenhouse neutral”.

$8 million.

Figure not available.

Figure not available.


• Green Leasing ensures tenants

are supplied with information

and guidance on the building’s

operations, helping maximise the

building’s sustainability.

• Natural ventilation and lighting help

to reduce energy consumption to

1/3 of a standard building of similar


• Solar panels used to supplement

mains energy supply. Green power

is sourced as mains supply.

• Three step water recycling system

supplies potable and non-potable

water to tenants.


60L was designed to be a model of

superior environmental performance

that demonstrated the Green Building

Partnership and ACF’s commitment to

ecologically sustainable development.

They wanted to create a building

that was commercially viable and

incorporated, as far as was practical

in the commercial context, sustainable

design principles into every facet of

the building.



Green Leasing - The performance of

the building as a “green building” is

dependent on the behaviour and the

participation of the tenants. Tenants

are required to sign a “green lease”

which informs tenants of Green

Building principles and rules, includes

an Environmental Management

Plan (EMP) and places additional

obligations on tenants over and above

normal commercial requirements.

The lease and EMP provide advice

in sourcing office equipment and

materials for fit out; practices for

tenancy operation, tenancy fit out

and the relocation of the tenant. The

building manager provides additional

information and advice to tenants on

sourcing the most environmentally

appropriate materials and advises

on issues such as office waste



By optimising natural ventilation and

natural lighting in the design of the

building, 60L is able to use only about

one-third of the energy of a similar

sized conventional office building. This

equates to approximately 250mWh

per year. The building has achieved

an 80% reduction in energy used for

lighting a typical commercial building

of similar size.

A large central atrium and six light

wells allow daylight to penetrate the

building with natural light. These

features have been placed so they

perform dual lighting and ventilation

roles. The light wells allow air to flow

across all the tenancies and into the

central atrium which vents the air


case studies

60L: 60 Leicester Street

using four thermal chimneys. Tenants

can also adjust the windows and

some of the louvres in their spaces

to control the flow of air, and have

access to domestic reverse cycle

air conditioners should the natural

conditions be outside comfort levels.

The open plan design and the use of

light shelves help the light penetrate

further into the office spaces. Light

coloured paint on ceilings help

maximise the reflection of light.

High efficiency light fixtures were

designed to reduce the installed

lighting load to 7W/m² compared to

20W/m² for office buildings. The light

fittings used are 36W single tube with

(in most tenancies) non-dimmable

electronic ballast on nominal 2.4m

spacing. The tubes are triphosphor,

low mercury type in fixtures with semispecular

reflectors and 10 cell low

glare, louvres.

The common area lighting control

system is AUTO ‘OFF’ and MANUAL

‘ON’. Building occupants turn the

lights on when required. The system

incorporates a timer so that common

area lights are turned off after 10


The building also uses solar

panels located on the roof to help

supplement the power required for

operation of building systems. Green

Power, energy which is derived from

non-fossil fuel and renewable sources

is purchased as the building’s main

energy supply.

Energy efficient appliances are used

in the public area of the building

and tenants are also encouraged

to purchase energy efficient office

equipment. Building management can

advise in the selection of equipment,

particularly in the fit-out stage of



The water use at 60L is dealt with in

three ways:

Water efficient fixtures such as lowflow

shower heads which discharge

5L per minute and dual flush systems

that can cope with grey water systems

are installed as well as waterless

urinals which contain an oil seal

that prevents odours. These fixtures

reduce water usage by half compared

with conventional items.

Rainwater is the principal source of

water for use throughout the building.

This is collected from the roof and

stored in two 10,000 litre storage

tanks on the ground floor. The water is

filtered and then sterilised to provide

a potable water supply for use by

tenants in taps, showers and for


The wastewater generated (greywater)

and sewage is treated in the building’s

own sewage treatment system. This

purifies the water using biological

treatment that is free from chemicals.

The treated water is designed to be

to be used for the reclaimed water

treatment plant which further purifies

the water for use in flushing toilet pans

and for irrigation of the landscape

features such as the rooftop garden.

Surplus reclaimed water from this

stage is designed to flow out through

a water feature in the atrium. This

features a succession of cascading

tanks containing aquatic plants

and organisms feeding on residual

nutrients in the treated water.



case studies

60L: 60 Leicester Street


The indoor environment quality in

60L is focussed on the individual

comfort levels of the tenants rather

than the building as a whole. Tenants

are able to adjust (within limits) the

levels of light and air flow to meet

their individual needs by opening

a window or adjusting louvres. The

building operates within a 19-26ºC

comfort band in passive mode. When

the external ambient temperature

is outside this margin, tenants are

able to use the reverse cycle air

conditioners available in their space.

Low-emissive products were chosen

where possible for paint and carpets,

and to replace the use of glues,

sealants, adhesives and paints

with high VOC (Volatile Organic

Compounds) levels. Smoking is not

allowed in any area of the building.


The original building was partially

dismantled and existing materials

re-used whenever practical including

timber floor joists and planking, bricks

and glazed partitions.

New concrete used in construction

contained, on average, 60% recycled

content, including crushed concrete

reclaimed from other buildings, and fly

ash extenders. All bricks used were

either reused from the old building or

recycled bricks from dismantling of

other buildings. All reinforcing steel

was made from recycled steel.

Recycled materials were used in other

fixtures and structural components

whenever possible. Recycled

hardwood timber was used for the

ground floor, and all window and door

frames. The carpet contained approx.

30% recycled content. Purchased

recycled products such as bricks,

timber steel and copper were given

preference over virgin materials.

Products with low levels of VOC

emissions (including paints and

carpets) were chosen where possible,

and the use of glues, sealants and

paints with high VOC (Volatile Organic

Compounds) levels minimised.

The use of PVC products was

eliminated from all water and

wastewater pipes as well as electrical

conduits and most light fittings.


Parking facilities are not available on

site. Tenants are encouraged to utilise

public transport services, which are

conveniently located to the building

or ride a bike. Facilities such as a

secure bike parking and showers are

available on site.


60L Green Building Website,

The Green Building Partnership

Hes, D. Greening the Building Life

Cycle: Life Cycle Assessment Tools

in Building and Construction 60L

Green Building, Environment Australia

60 Leicester Street Carlton: Australia’s

Leading Example of Commercial

Building for a Sustainable Future,

The Green Building Partnership

Figure 54. Low VOC materials selection.

Figure 55. Cyclist, image sourced from

Doncaster Hill Sustainability Guidelines,

Manningham City Council.


case studies

40 Albert Road









Retrofit of existing office block


South Melbourne, Victoria



SJB Architects

Connell Mott Macdonald, Energy Conservation


1,215m² net lettable area

Figure 56. 40 Albert Road, Szencorp.

40 Albert Road sets a new benchmark

in office refurbishment achieving a

6 Star Green Star - Office Design

certified rating, combining cutting

edge sustainable design with a highend

look and feel. This 1,200m 2 office

building in South Melbourne is the

new headquarters of the Szencorp

group of companies, who provide

expertise in sustainable business.

The vision for 40 Albert Road was one

of “walking the walk”, with several

cutting edge sustainable technologies

and ‘firsts’ incorporated into the



Energy (Gas

and electricity)





Capital cost



163 MWh per year

(134kWh/m 2 electricity)

61 kL per year

142 tonnes CO 2



No applicable business


No applicable business


No applicable business



• First occupied Australian building

and retrofit to have a 6 Star Green

Star - Office Design certified rating.

• Thought to have a world

first integrated sensor and

management system for

occupancy lighting, HVAC and

security control.

• Aiming to be the first building

in Australia to produce zero net


Australian first use of ceramic fuel

cells to reduce electricity used from

the grid.

Australian first use of the DryKor

dry conditioning unit, which

dries and cools the office space

simultaneously, using a desiccant

to absorb the water vapour from

the air.

Australian first use of natural gas

engine AC units.


The initial approach to the

refurbishment project was driven by

Peter Szental, who owns the Szencorp

group of companies. The design

combines original building features

and fabric with an innovative program

of alterations and additions to improve

environmental performance and

occupant amenity.

The original building had a long

concrete tube with a stairwell at the

front, which restricted natural light

and ventilation. To address this, a

new glazed stairwell was created in

the centre of the building with a glass

atrium to provide a natural light core.

40 Albert Road has new floor-to-ceiling

windows with opening sections on the

eastern façade to provide views, fresh

air and abundant natural light. From

street level, the building presents a

visually stunning mix of full length

glass, stone, polished metal pillars

and full height ultra-modern metal net




In order to maintain the 5 star ABGR

rating aimed for, auditing and building

tuning will be performed over 10

years. Extensive commissioning of the

building will also be undertaken.

A Building Users’ Guide will be

available online and will provide

tenants with all necessary instructions

on how to properly use the building’s

facilities. Performance will also be

displayed online, linking the actual

performance with information on how

to improve it.

The innovations at 40 Albert Road are

being demonstrated to the building

development and management

community, and the wider public.

Controlled free access to the building

and its systems are provided

for educational and commercial

purposes. The roof layout provides

access to the PV arrays, the gas

engine AC units, the DryKor



case studies

40 Albert Road

Figure 57. 40 Albert Road, temperature

distribution by CMM, Szencorp.

de-humidifier and the ceramic fuel

cell. As well, there is a comprehensive

weather station and 59 individual

meters monitoring the various building

systems, including the PV arrays,

DryKor unit, gas engine VRV, the fuel

cell, rainwater/ grey water harvesting

and re-use, natural ventilation, lighting,

and occupancy. Energy Conservation

Systems have provided many of the

energy conservation measures under

an Energy Performance Contract

which guarantees outcomes and

eliminates technical and financial



The building is expected to consume

163MWh of energy per year, made

up of 95 MWh of electric energy

and 68MWh gas. The Building

Management System provides a

single interface for the passive and

active thermal control system, lighting

control system, security and other

automated systems. Via a high level

interface the BMS also integrates

the information from a weather

station, for the control of the mixed

mode ventilation, to ensure passive

opportunities are utilised to the

maximum, and prevent cross winds

from unbalancing internal air flows

(drawing internal air to the outside,

wasting energy).

Each floor is split into several

zones, where temperature, humidity,

daylight, lighting levels, air quality

and occupancy are monitored. The

system supplements passive thermal,

ventilation and lighting systems with

active systems as necessary. When

a zone is unoccupied, active lighting

and thermal systems are shut down

to save energy. Electricity, gas and

water usage is remotely monitored

and SMS messaging is used to alert

maintenance personnel of abnormal


The Managed Lighting System (MLS)

control system is a network of motion

sensors that control lighting in offices

in response to occupancy and dims

lighting to compensate for natural

lighting levels or lamp degradation.

Energy efficiency is achieved by

maintaining lighting only in zones

that are occupied. Lighting will switch

on automatically upon entering a

zone and switch off when the zone is

vacated after a delay. This functionality

is designed to be adjustable to

support flexibility. Similarly, the zoning

can be adjusted to suit the office


The ventilation system is mixed mode,

with natural ventilation supplied

by open windows and mechanical

ventilation supplied by ceiling

mounted fan coil units that have a

damper to close off outside air. The

roof-mounted gas engine driven

air conditioning units are a first for

Victoria. Using internal combustion

engine technology, rather than electric

motor conditioning units, provides

several benefits. First, avoiding grid

electricity use results in a lower overall

contribution to global climate change

emissions. Secondly, it reduces

demand on the electricity grid, which

cuts down on the need to upgrade

the infrastructure. Thirdly, it cuts

electricity demand at peak periods,

thus reducing peak tariff usage.

“The aim of 40 Albert Rd is to

demonstrate how to recycle

a typical existing suburban

office building into a leading

edge building offering best

practice performance in energy,

greenhouse and sustainability.”

Ceramic fuel cells will reduce the

building’s demand for grid electricity.

This will be the first ceramic fuel cell

in commercial operation in Australia.

Fuel cells use chemical reactions

rather than combustion reactions to

provide electrical power. Reactants

are continually fed into the process to

provide ongoing power output. The

waste heat generated during power

production will be used to provide

the building with hot water. This hot

water system is supplemented by a

solar hot water panel with gas boost.

This will result in the building saving

approximately 12 MWh per annum by

utilising solar energy to produce the

majority of the domestic hot water.

A 1 MWh per annum amorphous PV

array plus a 4.8 MWh per annum

crystalline Origin PV array, both grid

connected, will provide additional

electricity to the building.

The central vacuum system saves

energy as it can be used during

office hours, so there is no need to

run lighting and air conditioning out

of hours for cleaning purposes. Also,

cleaning with a central system is 40%

faster than portable machines.

Significant energy savings are also

achieved by linking the car park

exhaust fans to the Building


case studies

40 Albert Road

“The project will achieve

leading sustainable

performance without

compromising any

conventional features - from

the users perspective it will

provide standard high end

office accommodation.”

Management System. These fans

will only operate when the carbon

monoxide sensors in the car park

indicate that vehicles are being



The building features a

comprehensive water management

system designed and built by the

water conservation group from within

Energy Conservation Systems. Water

consumption is minimised at each

end use point by using the latest in

controlled flow showerheads and taps

throughout, some of them sensor

activated only. Toilets are an award

winning dual flush design using only

4.5/3 litres per flush. Urinals are


Lightly polluted water gathered from

hand basins and showers (greywater)

is collected, treated and reused for

toilet flushing. This is complemented

with a rainwater harvesting system

providing 4,400 litres of rainwater

storage, estimated to be enough for 3

weeks of normal flushing.

The combination of these measures

is expected to reduce freshwater

consumption from the building by 82%

compared to the original design while

discharge to sewer will be reduced by



Thermal comfort is achieved by

combining natural ventilation with

mechanical cooling and heating.

Mechanically operated opening

windows and dampers allow fresh

air in and expel used air out. Natural

ventilation is automated and is

optimised according to inside and

outside environmental conditions.

Mechanical cooling or heating is

supplied by ceiling mounted fan coil


The DryKor dry conditioning unit

dries and cools the office space

simultaneously, using a process of

natural desiccant absorption of water

vapour from the air. This technology

is non-toxic and non-hazardous, and

the humidity is ducted outdoors,

eliminating the need for condensate

pumps, pipes and drainage system.

This addresses “Sick Building

Syndrome” problems associated

with poor indoor air quality as the

process removes up to 94% of microorganisms,

as well 77% of particles

greater than 5 microns.

Natural light is maximised by floorto-ceiling

high-performance doubleglazing

and is supplemented by

the atrium and glass in the central

stairwell. Further, there are skylights

above the boardroom. Daylight

modelling shows that there will be

significant natural light at desk level

across one third of the office space.

This will also reduce energy use on

artificial lighting, since the automated

lighting system will dim whenever and

wherever daylight levels permit, to

optimise overall light levels. For the

majority of the time, artificial lighting

will be dimmed up to eight metres

away from the windows.

Figure 58. 40 Albert Road, Szencorp.



case studies

40 Albert Road

Sunlight glare is controlled through

the full length shading screens to

the east façade and the use of high

performance low glare glazing. In

addition, manually operated internal

blinds are provided to all windows, as

are automated blinds to the skylights

and atrium.

A central vacuum cleaning system

is less noisy and more effective in

reducing allergenic mould, dust and

moisture problems than portable

vacuums. These reductions increase

occupant health and wellbeing, and

prolong the life of carpets.

All new materials introduced into

the building have been chosen with

office air quality in mind. Volatile

organic compounds (VOCs) emission

levels are minimised in the carpets,

adhesives and sealants used, and

95% of painted surfaces use low VOC

paints. All composite wood used in

the furniture is low in formaldehyde

emissions, and a dedicated exhaust

riser is provided to remove emissions

from printers and photocopiers.


Most of the reinforced concrete

structure and 88% of the original

façade has been retained. The

additional concrete required uses

recycled aggregate as well as

incorporating industrial waste.

The material specification for the

refurbishment timber (using the good

wood guide) and structural concrete

incorporates strict sustainability



An environmental mangagement

plan ensured that at least 80% of the

waste used in the construction of the

building is collected and sorted for


During operation, onsite recycling

facilities are provided to recycle paper,

co-mingled plastic and glass. There

are plans for recycling of organic

waste and toner cartridges.


The Drykor and AC units use no

ozone depleting refrigerants, and

the building, ductwork and pipe

work insulation is similarly free of all

ozone depleting substances. Kyoto

compliant greenhouse credits will

be purchased to offset the residual

impact the building and its occupants

have on climate change using

standard recognised greenhouse

calculation and offset products

currently available.

“40 Albert Rd will demonstrate

innovative strategies and

outcomes for the built

environment that are

anticipated to become

standard practice over the

next decade. It has been

designed as a live case

study with ongoing real time

monitoring and verification and

an ongoing test bed for new

products and services.”

Car parking is provided at ground

and basement levels. Analysis of

projected building user numbers

allowed the overall number of car

parking spaces to be reduced, and

small spaces to be introduced into

the mix. Bicycle storage, lockers

and shower facilities are provided to

enable tenants and visitors to cycle

to the building with convenience and



The Greening of 40 Albert Road

Figure 59. 40 Albert Road, initial plans,


Figure 60. 40 Albert Road, initial plans,


Figure 61. 40 Albert Road, initial plans,



case studies

Galleries, Museums and Libraries

Galleries, libraries and museums

are special spaces with particular

requirements, such as high levels of

lighting and strict temperature and

humidity control. This constrains

the possibilities for use of some

sustainable building practices

and requires greater innovation to

incorporate sustainable measures.

This case study looks at both the

simple and innovative measures

that venues around Australia and

overseas have taken to be more

ecologically sustainable.

Figure 62. National Gallery of Victoria, John




The use of natural light or daylighting

can have an aesthetic benefit as well

as achieve energy use reductions.

The changes in natural light

conditions and intensity can create

a less clinical ambience but it also

creates challenges for conservators.

For conservators the ideal situation

involves no ultra violet light.

As the main purpose of galleries,

museums and libraries is the

protection and public access to

documents, the conservation

department needs to be consulted

from the earliest stages of

development or refurbishment

planning. Consideration of

international standards for the

protection of archive material has to

be incorporated.

State Library of Victoria

Glass panels were reinstated in the

Dome over the La Trobe Reading

Room. They had previously been

covered in 1959 to prevent water

seeping in. The glass panelling

reduces the need for artificial lighting

and includes UV filters. The natural

light reaches to the areas for the

public to read from the library’s works.

The reading room is 35m high

and circled by four levels. Daylight

conditions were found to be

unpredictable, so a study of the light

in the space was commissioned.

The aim was to make best use of the

spaces without compromising the


Two of the four levels were converted

to exhibition spaces. There are eight

sides to these galleries in the round,

four of which have arches which allow

daylight into the whole area and the

other four sides are sealed with no

arches. Conservators and exhibition

curators arrange material so that only

graphic reproductions are displayed

in the areas with daylight and the

other areas display the material that

needs fully controlled lighting. In

order to meet the lux level standards

for different material (i.e. max 50 lux

for natural fibres and max 200 lux

for paintings), the lighting strategy

has not changed but the exhibition

strategy is designed around the

limitations of the space.

Future developments of the site will

include the creation of courtyards that

view the Dome and which will have

glazed coverings.

National Gallery of Victoria


The National Gallery of Victoria

(International) was refurbished in

2004. It has since won national and

international awards for its design.

In the refurbishment, two towers

were added to the Gallery’s basic

rectangular structure and three square


At the top of the courtyard, glass

panels arch to the skylights and

bring light into the bottom of the

courtyards. There are also skylights in

the upper level galleries and glazing

on the high side of the skylights.

The skylights all have UV diffusers.

This lighting condition in the upper

galleries creates a difficult situation for

conservators and required a change in

exhibition strategy. The modern pieces

tend to be displayed on these floors 43 .

Often the skylights are closed off for

an exhibition, so the predominant area

of daylighting impact is in the lighting

of the courtyards.

Peckham Library (UK)

The architects used daylight analysis

to design the building in such a way

as to operate the building without use

of artificial lighting for large amounts

of the year. This saves energy and

provides visual comfort for users.

There is bright glass on the north side

of the building which lets in a large

amount of daylight.

43 Paul Walker, 2004, ‘New Interiors by Mario Bellini

and Metier 3’, Architecture Australia, March/April




case studies

Galleries, Museums and Libraries

Frederick R Weisman Art Museum

University of Minnesota

Designed by Frank Gehry, the

Weisman Art Museum is a teaching

museum for the University of

Minnesota and the community. Large

picture windows at the front of the

building enable views from the outside

of the Museum’s lobby and the

galleries beyond. The main daylighting

feature is the four sculptural skylights

which light the east, west, north and

south walls.

John Allen, the Director of Visitor

Services explains the current and

future policy about the skylights:

“It also creates some challenges

with regard to protecting the

artwork - especially photographs,

prints, and other works on paper

- from damage caused by light.

We try to design our exhibitions

with daylight in mind and, with

the assistance of Frank O. Gehry

Architects, we are exploring

methods to diffuse the natural

light from the skylights through

the use of scrim, UV filters, and

other materials.

“Regardless of the level of

daylight in the galleries, most

of the art on display is lit with

artificial light sources so the

savings on lighting costs there is

negligible. There is likely some

savings on the lighting costs

in the administrative offices,

meeting spaces, museum store

and other non-gallery areas due

to the presence of natural light

from windows and skylights.” 44


East Melbourne Library

Energy will be saved through the use

of passive heating and cooling as well

as artificial light levels being regulated

by sensor readings.

The National Museum of Australia

Various actions were taken on the site

to reduce energy use. Some of these


• Changing the wattage of lighting in

the Hall from 500 watts to 300 watts

– this policy will be extended into all

galleries and operational areas.

• Exhibition lighting has been

changed from 50 watt to 35 watt

dichroic lighting which creates a

higher light output but reduced

colour fade 45 .

• Installation of energy monitoring

system which will track usage and

effects of any policy changes

Mark Twain House Museum (USA)

The overall energy efficiency of the

HVAC system is nearly 30 percent

greater than a system designed to

building code. This is mainly from

the use of geothermal wells which

will meet the predominant heating

and cooling needs of the building.

The building is underground, which

contributes to significant reductions in

the heat gain and heat loss from the

building envelope. The monumental

stair case between the first to second

floors allows the elimination of a

passenger elevator. The building is

designed to allow future additions

such as photo–voltaic solar panels

on the south wall and, potentially, fuel




Queensland Art Gallery

In the planning and design of the new

Queensland Art Gallery, modelling

was performed to plan the solar

shading and thermal load on radiant

insulation. One of the main issues

was dealing with the humidity and

weather conditions in such a way that

steady internal temperatures could be

maintained and intermediary zones


Peckham Library (Battle McCarthy

architects, UK)

Passive design elements used in the

Peckham Library in London include:

natural ventilation using openings

high in the roof and natural cross

ventilation. The building is cooled at

night. The windows are double glazed

and lots of thermal insulation has

reduced the need for heating in winter.

The building itself is built in a concrete

L-shaped frame with a façade shaded

by a cantilevered overhang. No air

conditioning has been installed.

East Melbourne Library

East Melbourne Library is being

demolished and will be replaced with

a library that will incorporate passive

heating and cooling mechanisms

using natural ventilation and thermal


Figure 63. Reading room, use of natural light,

State Library Victoria.

44 J Allen [Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum] 2005,

pers.comm., 23 March.

45 National Museum of Australia, 2003, Land Nation

People: The Annual Report of National Museum of

Australia 2002-2003, National Museum of Australia

Press, Canberra.


case studies

Galleries, Museums and Libraries


There are two ways in which materials

are important considerations in

designing and running a library,

museum or gallery. One is the

selection of materials to reduce the

environmental impact of the building

generally and the other is the way

in which materials can impact the

conservation of archived objects.

Mark Twain House (USA)

This was the first American museum

to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy

and Environmental Design) certification.

Some examples of the principles

used to select materials for the new

Museum at Mark Twain House are:

• Local materials were sourced from

within a 500–mile radius.

• Recycled material content

exceeds 25 percent throughout

the project. Building materials

have been selected to minimise,

if not eliminate, the negative

consequences of VOCs.

• Wood products used in this project

were from Forest Stewardship

Council (FSC) certified sources

that confirm renewable and

responsible forestry practices.


Issues for storage of material includes

sealing of spaces to stop vermin

and infestation, air conditioning that

can deal with extreme temperatures

as needed and maintain a stable

environment for fragile artefacts,

access to objects for monitoring

and maintenance, appropriate

environmental controls and


Some useful ideas are:

• Cabinets made from wood with

formaldehyde content cannot be

used. The formaldehyde can affect

paintings and objects stored in

them. Formaldehyde can also be

an irritant to employees so it is best

specify low or ‘zero’ formaldehyde

content board or use a wood which

has not been glued.

• Minimise dust by having shelving

going to the ceiling rather than

having surfaces that collect dust.

• Good use of thermal mass can

assist in maintaining a stable

environment and reduce the need

for air conditioning.

• Cleaning materials used should

meet AS/NZ ISO 14001:1996

‘Environmental Management

Systems – specifications with

guidance for use’ and AS/NZ

14004:1996 ‘Environmental

Management Systems - general

guidelines of principles, systems

and supporting techniques.’ 46

These systems specify good

practice processes and systems

rather than specific product



East Melbourne Library

The East Melbourne Library will collect

rainwater from the roof and recycle it

for use in the facility and in the garden

will also use recycled water.

Mark Twain House (USA)

A closed-loop system eliminates water

lost to evaporation through the cooling

tower in a conventional system.

Parking has been minimized, thereby

reducing storm water runoff and

pollution impact. Native vegetation

has been selected to eliminate the

need for an irrigation system and

increased water use.


There is both responsibility and

opportunities in the fact that these are

public buildings. The responsibility

is to involve key stakeholders

like indigenous landholders and

the community in the process of

creating the building. There are great

opportunities to educate the public

about art, history and the environment

as well as sustainable design.

The National Museum of Australia

The traditional owners of the Acton

Peninsula were consulted about

the development of the site. Before

building began a smoking ceremony

was performed by the Ngunnawal

people to purify the site.

The Museum has an ongoing

responsibility to protect culturally

significant sites on the Acton

Peninsula on which the Museum

buildings are located.

During the development of the design

and building, collaboration and

cooperation was emphasised through

membership on committees and

memoranda of understanding with

neighbours, such as the Australian

Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander Studies and the Australian

National University.

The Museum also integrates

ecologically sustainable development

information into exhibitions if

appropriate, such as in the Tangled

Destinies gallery.

46 National Museum of Australia, 2004, National

Museum of Australia Annual Report 2003-2004,

National Museum of Australia Press, Canberra.



case studies

Galleries, Museums and Libraries


A special project management style

was developed for this building. It

became known as the Alliance Project,

in which all parties shared the profits

and the risks of construction. This

was a first for a building development

in Australia. There was one overall

contract and the result was that the

project came in on budget and on



Battle McCarthy, 1999, Cultural: Project:

Peckham Library, London, Battle McCarthy

Consulting Engineers & Landscape



Energy Research Group, 1994, Daylighting

in Buildings, School of Architecture,

University College Dublin for the European

Commission Directorate-General for

Energy, Dublin.

National Museum of Australia, 2003,

Land Nation People: The Annual Report of

National Museum of Australia 2002-2003,

National Museum of Australia Press,


National Museum of Australia, 2004,

National Museum of Australia Annual

Report 2003-2004, National Museum of

Australia Press, Canberra.

State Library of Victoria

For information on the redevelopment

see Department of Infrastructure, Major

Projects section,


East Melbourne Library

For information see the City of Melbourne’s



Peckham Library


Consulting Engineers

Mark Twain House Museum


Frederick R Weisman Art Museum,

University of Minnesota

For the interactive learning site about the

architecture of the building see:


LEED (Leadership in Energy and

Environmental Design – program and

rating system administered by the U.S.

Green Building Council)

Paul Walker, 2004, New Interiors by Mario

Bellini and Metier 3, Architecture Australia,

March/April 2004.

Therese Weber (ed), 2004, Land Nation

People: Stories from the National Museum

of Australia, National Museum of Australia

Press, Canberra.

The National Museum of Australia

National Gallery of Victoria, International

Figure 64. National Gallery of Victoria, John







ABGR is the universally accepted

benchmarking tool for energy

consumption of commercial buildings in

Australia, and it has been incorporated

in other rating systems to ensure a

consistent approach from industry to this

important issue. (DEUS, 2005).

Adaptive Comfort

Adds Human behaviour to the comfort

analysis. It assumes that, if changes

occur in the thermal environment to

produce discomfort, then people will

generally change their behaviour and act

in a way that will restore their comfort.

Such actions could include taking off

clothing, reducing activity levels or even

opening a window. The main effect of

such models is to increase the range of

conditions that designers can consider

as comfortable, especially in naturally

ventilated buildings where the occupants

have a greater degree of control over

their thermal environment. (Andrew Marsh

Square one -


A substance capable of holding materials

together by surface attachment.

Adhesives are one source of off-gassing in

indoor environments. (Property Council of

Australia, Sustainable Development Guide,



Australian Greenhouse Office, now part of

the Australian Government’s Department

of the Environment and Heritage.

Air quality

To do with the level of particulate, gases,

vapours, pollens and micro-organisms

in the air. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).

Alliance partnerships

A long-term commercial partnering

arrangement that enhances project

team innovation and avoids the cost of

tendering for team formation on every

new project. This can assist integrated

delivery of sustainable design objectives.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


A geological formation that will yield water

to a well in sufficient quantities to make

the production of water from this formation

feasible for beneficial use; permeable

layers of underground rock or sand that

hold or transmit groundwater below the

water table. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).


Base Building Brief

Working document which specifies at

any point in time the relevant needs and

aims, resources of the client and user, the

context of the project and any appropriate

design requirements within which all

subsequent briefing (when needed) and

designing can take place. (Adapted from

definition of brief in ISO 9699).


Australian Council of Building Design

Professionals – BPD has published

a multi-volume Environment Design

Guide containing literature on how to

reduce environmental impact of the built

environment. (Melbourne Docklands ESD

Guide, Oct 2002).


Building Code of Australia.


A material capable of being decomposed

by bacteria or other living organisms as

a result of the action of micro-organisms.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


The variety of all life forms; the different

plants, animals and micro-organisms, the

genes they contain and the ecosystems

they form. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).

Brownfield Site

Land within an urban area on which

development has previously taken place.

(Corus Construction Centre glossary,


Building monitoring systems or

Building Management System (BMS)

Also referred to at times as the Building

Management System. A Building

Management System includes more of

the systems and plans for review and

improvement while the Building Monitoring

System is a computerised system that

monitors the engineering services, security

and other building systems for the purpose

of recording, reporting and operational

control of the systems to maximize safety,

security, operational performance and for

overall cost minimization and efficiency.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


Carbon credit

A term that refers to three types of units of

greenhouse gas reductions defined under

the Kyoto Protocol:

• emissions reduction units are

generated via joint implementation

under Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol,

• certified emission reduction units are

generated and certified under the

provisions of Article 12 of the Kyoto

Protocol, the Clean Development

Mechanism, and

• verified emission reductions are

verified reductions in greenhouse gas

emissions below a pre-determined


(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).

Carbon dioxide equivalent gases

Greenhouse gases that contribute to

the greenhouse effect are referred to as

carbon dioxide equivalent gases since this

is the most abundant greenhouse gas.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Synthetic products which do not occur

naturally and contain chlorine and fluorine;

commonly used in various industrial

processes and as refrigerants and, prior

to 1990, as a propellant gas for sprays.

CFCs are a powerful greenhouse gas.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).

CFCs are used as a refrigerant. They are

the worst ozone depleting product and

the most significant cause of ozone layer

depletion. CFCs are being phased out as

part of the Montreal Protocol. (Melbourne

Docklands ESD Guide, Oct 2002).

Client brief

A project vision statement and sustainable

development criteria provided to the

design team. (Property Council of

Australia, Sustainable Development Guide,


Climate Change Levy

A tax on corporate energy use introduced

by the government in 1999 aimed at

reducing energy consumption. (Corus

Construction Centre glossary, http://www.


Generation of electricity combined with

the production of heat for commercial or

industrial use. Excess electricity produced

can be fed back into the power grid.

Cogeneration is an energy efficient way of

using fossil fuels. (National Greenhouse







Commercial buildings

Typically refers to any non-residential

building such as a shopping center,

office tower, business park, industrial

property or tourism and leisure asset.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


Materials all mixed together, such as

plastic bottles with glass and metal

containers. Commingled recyclable

materials require sorting after collection

before they can be recycled. Current

collections in the CBD are usually plastics

marked 1, 2 and 3; glass beverage

containers and aluminium and steel

cans. Fully commingled collections also

include paper. (Department of Treasury

and Finance, Reporting of Office-Based

Environmental Impacts by Government

Departments: Guidance to Financial

Reporting Direction FRD24, July 2003).


The start up phase of a new or renovated

building which includes testing and finetuning

of the HVAC, electrical, plumbing

and other systems to assure proper

functioning and adherence to design

criteria. Commissioning also includes

preparation of the systems operations

manual and instruction of the building

maintenance personnel. (Property Council

of Australia, Sustainable Development

Guide, 2001).

Copper Chrome Arsenate (CCA)

A powerful preservative most commonly

used to treat softwoods for external use to

provide protection against fungi, termites

and wood boring insects. Spills of CCA

can leave short-term residues of arsenic

and long-term residues of chromium

in affected soils, which have serious

health and environmental implications.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).

Cost benefit analysis

A method of evaluating projects or

investments by comparing the present

value or annual value of expected benefits

to costs. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).



A technique which is based on the

old practice of dismantling buildings

to enable redundant materials to be

salvaged for reuse and recycling. (Corus

Construction Centre glossary, http://www.


Components or whole buildings which can

be dismantled and re-erected elsewhere.

(Corus Construction Centre glossary,



The mechanical recycling of end of life

products which produces materials of

inferior quality. The secondary material

cannot substitute the virgin state, an

example being crushed concrete used as

fill. (Corus Construction Centre glossary,


Dual pipe system

A system where one pipe feeds potable

or drinking water, the second feeds

treated water, typically for toilet flushing

or irrigation – also called the purple or

lilac pipe. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).


Embodied Energy

The non-renewable energy consumed

in the acquisition of raw materials, their

processing, manufacture, transportation

to site and the construction process. Also

the non-renewable energy consumed

to maintain, repair, restore, refurbish or

replace materials, components or systems

during the lifetime of a building. (Corus

Construction Centre glossary, http://www.


Environmental Management Plan – this

document outlines the environmental

requirements and responsibilities (of

developers and the Docklands Authority

for the development of Melbourne

Docklands). (Melbourne Docklands ESD

Guide, Oct 2002).


Environmental Management System – this

document outlines specific requirements

for planning implementation, operation,

checking and correct actions regarding

environmental issues.

Environmental Management System

A management system to identify, manage

and reduce an organisation’s impact on

the environment. (Department of Treasury

and Finance, Reporting of Office-Based

Environmental Impacts by Government

Departments: Guidance to Financial

Reporting Direction FRD24, July 2003).

Environmentally preferable products/


Products that embody one or several

positive environmental attributes as

a result of deliberately eliminating or

reducing potential environmental impacts

across its life cycle. These products don’t

have negative impacts on human health

and the environment when compared with

competing products.

This comparison may consider raw

materials acquisition, production,

manufacturing, packaging, distribution,

reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal

of the product. (EcoRecycle 2003).


Environment Protection and Biodiversity

Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the

Australian Government’s major piece

of environmental legislation. It protects

the environment, particularly matters of

National Environmental Significance.


Ecologically Sustainable Development

– development that does not compromise

the ability of future generations to enjoy

similar levels of development. This is done

by minimising the effect of development

on the environment. (Melbourne

Docklands ESD Guide, Oct 2002) Also

defined by the Australian Government

as ‘using, conserving and enhancing the

community’s resources so that ecological

processes, on which life depends, are

maintained, and the total quality of life,

now and in the future, can be increased’.

(NSESD, DEH 1992).



A resin used as an adhesive, surface

coating, foam or in the manufacture

of laminates and sandwich panels.

Formaldehyde adhesives can present

a health hazard due to their off-gassing

tendencies. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

An international organisation promoting

responsible forest management. FSC

has developed principles for forest

management which may be used for

verifying the management of forest

holdings and a system of tracing, verifying

and labelling timber and wood products

that originate from FSC certified forests.

(Australian Paper www.australianpaper.




Fuel Cells

Used in electrical generation. This is an

apparatus used for combining fuel and

oxides to generate electricity. It is the

conversion of chemicals to electrical

energy. (Energy Australia


Global warming potential (GWP)

GWP is a measure of how much a given

mass of greenhouse gas is estimated to

contribute to global warming. It is a relative

scale which compares the gas in question

to that of the same mass of carbon dioxide

whose GWP is one. An exact definition

can be found at the IPCC web site.

Examples of the GWP of gases are as


• carbon dioxide has a GWP of exactly

1 (since it is the baseline unit to

which all other greenhouse gases are


• methane has a GWP of 21

• nitrogen dioxide has a GWP of 310

• Some hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)

compounds have GWPs of several

thousands (HFC-23 is 11,700).

Greenfield Site

Land on which no development has

previously taken place. Usually on the

periphery of an existing built-up area.

(Corus Construction Centre glossary,


Greenhouse gases

Gases which contribute to global warming

by preventing the outward radiation of

heat from the Earth which increases the

atmosphere’s absorption of sunlight

(the greenhouse effect). Greenhouse

gases are measured in carbon dioxide

equivalent units. Some greenhouse

gases are naturally occurring (water

vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous

oxide and ozone). Others result from

human activities, the most powerful of

which are: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),

perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur

hexafluoride (SF6). (Property Council of

Australia, Sustainable Development Guide,


Green lease schedule

A lease schedule that sets out the mutual

obligation for building owners, managers

and tenants regarding environmental


Green power

Electricity generated from clean renewable

sources, such as the sun, wind, water and

organic matter. The electricity is bought

by energy suppliers on behalf of their

customers. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).

Green Star

Green Star was developed and funded

by industry and government. Green

Star’s framework brings existing tools

and standards together under one

unified system. Green Star rating tools

are relevant to building type, phase of

development cycle and geographical

location. Green Star awards points for

best practice initiatives and, as such,

projects that receive a Green Star Certified

Rating have demonstrated leadership and

are considered to be in the top quartile of

the market. Green Star rating tools are

being released for all building types (office,

retail, education, health, residential etc.).


Water within the earth that supplies

wells and springs; water in the zone of

saturation where all openings in rocks and

soil are filled, the upper surface of which

forms the water table. (Property Council of

Australia, Sustainable Development Guide,



Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

HCFCs were used as the original

replacement for CFCs and are still

commonly used. HCFCs, like CFCs,

cause ozone depletion, but to a lesser

extent. HCFCs are being phased out

under the Montreal Protocol. (Melbourne

Docklands ESD Guide, Oct 2002).

Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs)

Transitional replacements for CFCs, they

are also greenhouse gases. (Property

Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).

HVAC systems

The equipment, distribution network and

terminals that provide either collectively

or individually the processes of heating,

ventilation or air-conditioning to a building.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change (IPCC)

The IPCC was established in 1988 by two

United Nations organizations, the World

Meteorological Organization (WMO)

and the United Nations Environment

Programme (UNEP) to assess the “risk

of human-induced climate change”. The

Panel is open to all members of the WMO

and UNEP.

Its reports are widely cited and have

been highly influential in forming national

and international responses to climate

change, yet some of the scientists whose

work is summarized in these reports have

accused the IPCC of bias.

Indoor air quality (IAQ)

Includes the introduction and distribution

of adequate ventilation air, control of

airborne contaminants and maintenance

of acceptable temperature and relative

humidity. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).

Indoor environment quality (IEQ)

This factor describes the cumulative

effects of indoor air quality, lighting

and thermal conditions. Poor IEQ is

responsible for health problems in the

work place. (Melbourne Docklands ESD

Guide, Oct 2002).

Integrated design

A design process that mobilises

multidisciplinary design input and

cooperation, ideally to maximise and

integrate environmental and economic

life cycle benefits. (Property Council of

Australia, Sustainable Development Guide,


ISO 14000

International standards for EMS’ -

ISO14001 and ISO14004 are international

standards concerning Environmental

Management Systems, and include

specifications and guidelines. (Melbourne

Docklands ESD Guide, Oct 2002).

ISO 7730

International standard for thermal

comfort – this standard is based on a

determination of the PMV (Predicted Mean

Vote) and PPD (Predicted Percentage

Dissatisfied) indices, and specification

of the conditions for thermal comfort.

(Melbourne Docklands ESD Guide, Oct




Kyoto Protocol

An international agreement reached in

1997 in Kyoto, Japan, which extends

the commitment of the United Nations

Framework Convention on Climate

Change. In particular, it sets targets for

future emissions by each developed

country over the first commitment period

and foreshadows further action over future

commitment periods. (Property Council of

Australia, Sustainable Development Guide,






An international agreement to limit

greenhouse gas emissions. The protocol

was adopted in 1997 and has been ratified

by 54 countries, including most developed

countries. (Melbourne Docklands ESD

Guide, Oct 2002).



This scale measures the average energy

of the noise level. It is the equivalent

steady state level of a fluctuating noise

level. When considered over a period of

time T, this is represented by the scale dB

LAeqT. ASINZS 1269.1:1998 sets out the

method for calculating this level. (Green

Star- Office Design v2).

Life cycle assessment (LCA)

A technique for assessing the

environmental aspects and potential

impacts associated with a product or

process, by compiling an inventory of

relevant inputs and outputs, evaluating

the potential environmental impacts

associated with those inputs and outputs,

and interpreting the results of the inventory

analysis and impact assessment phases

in relation to the objectives. (Property

Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).

Life cycle costing (LCC)

A technique that enables a comparative

cost assessment to be made for various

investment alternatives, over a specified

period of time, taking into account all

relevant factors, both in terms of initial

capital costs and future estimated cost.

The objective is to identify the most

economic overall choice. (Property

Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


Measure of the amount of light at a certain



Montreal Protocol

This international treaty was first signed

in 1987 (now signed by 181 countries). It

sets a time schedule for the reduction and

eventual elimination of ozone depleting

substances. (Melbourne Docklands ESD

Guide, Oct 2002).



National Australian Built Environment

Rating System – an environmental

rating tool for non-residential buildings

that is now being developed by the

Commonwealth Government. (Property

Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


National House Energy Rating Scheme

– this is a national scheme used to rate

the energy consumption of residential

buildings. (Melbourne Docklands ESD

Guide, Oct 2002).


National Strategy for Ecologically

Sustainable Development, it sets

out the broad strategic and policy

framework under which governments will

cooperatively make decisions and take

actions to pursue ESD in Australia.

It will be used by governments to guide

policy and decision making, particularly in

those key industry sectors which rely on

the utilisation of natural resources.



The release of gases or vapours from solid

materials in a form of evaporation of a slow

chemical change which produces indoor

air pollution for prolonged periods after

installation of a material. (Property Council

of Australia, Sustainable Development

Guide, 2001).

Operational Energy

The energy consumed in heating,

cooling, lighting and powering equipment

and appliances in buildings. (Corus

Construction Centre glossary, http://www.

Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)

A number that refers to the amount of

ozone depletion caused by a substance.

The ODP is the ratio of the impact on

ozone of a chemical compared to the

impact of a similar mass of CFC-11.

Thus, the ODP of CFC-11 is defined to be

1.0. Other CFCs and HCFCs have ODPs

that range from 0.01 to 1.0. The halons

have ODPs ranging up to 10. Carbon

tetrachloride has an ODP of 1.2, and

methyl chloroform’s ODP is 0.11.

HFCs have zero ODP because they do not

contain chlorine. (US EPA web site www. ).

Ozone layer depletion

The ozone layer protects earth from ultra

violet rays, which are known to cause

cancer. Refrigerants such as CFCs and

HCFCs contribute greatly to ozone layer

depletion. (Melbourne Docklands ESD

Guide, Oct 2002).


Photo Electric Cell (PE)

These are used to monitor the amount of

light in a room.

Phase Change Materials

materials which turn from one phase to

another (for example liquid to gas, or solid

to liquid) at a certain temperature – such

as waster at zero degrees Celsius.


Generation of electricity from the energy

of sunlight using photocells. (Property

Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


Predicted Mean Vote. This international

measure, used for determining thermal

comfort, is based on surveys of the most

acceptable levels of indoor temperature,

humidity and radiant heat for different

clothing and activity levels. (Melbourne

Docklands ESD Guide, Oct 2002).

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

A group of synthetic chlorinated organic

compounds, toxic to humans and

identified as a carcinogenic substance,

which were used mainly in older electrical

capacitors or transformers. (Property

Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).

Poly-vinyl Chloride (PVC)

This common building material is

mostly used for pipes and electrical

cables. Production of PVC requires toxic

chemicals and heavy metals. These

additives risk polluting soil and waterways

during PVC disposal. (Melbourne

Docklands ESD Guide, Oct 2002).

Potable water

Water that is fit for human consumption.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).


Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied. This

measure is linked with PMV. A PMV of 0

indicates a PPD of 5% and a PMV of +/-1

indicates a PPD of 25%. This means that

25% of occupants perceive the space

to be either warm or cool. (Melbourne

Docklands ESD Guide, Oct 2002).

Project brief

Typically a response to a client brief and is

prepared by the integrated design team.

(Property Council of Australia, Sustainable

Development Guide, 2001).






Recycled material

Material that would otherwise be destined

for disposal but is diverted or separated

from the waste stream, reintroduced as

material feedstock and processed into

marketed end products. (Property Council

of Australia, Sustainable Development

Guide, 2001).

Materials that have been reprocessed

from recovered material by means of a

manufacturing process and made into

a final product or into a component for

incorporation into a product. (EcoRecycle


Recycled products

Materials that have been recovered,

processed and used as a raw material

for the manufacture of a useful new

product through a commercial process.

These products will contain a specified

percentage of material that would

otherwise have been disposed of as

wastes. (EcoRecycle 2003).


Includes paper, commingles and

compostables accepted and recycled by

your contractors or internally (i.e. through

on site worm farms). These figures can

be extrapolated from waste assessments.

(Department of Treasury and Finance,

Reporting of Office-Based Environmental

Impacts by Government Departments:

Guidance to Financial Reporting Direction

FRD24, July 2003).


Means to renew or restore a used product

into its original form or into a useful new

product through a commercial process.

(EcoRecycle 2003).


A renewable product can be grown or

naturally replenished or cleansed at a

rate that exceeds human depletion of the

resource. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is obtained from

sources that can be sustained indefinitely.

Examples of renewable energy systems

include photovoltaic solar collection,

solar thermal turbine generation and wind

power. (Melbourne Docklands ESD Guide,

Oct 2002).


The recovery of a material to be used

again for a similar application without

reprocessing. (Property Council of

Australia, Sustainable Development Guide,




Site Environmental Management Plan –

this document guides and sets standards

for construction and operation of new

developments. It includes strategies

and processes to manage and minimise

environmental impacts. (Melbourne

Docklands ESD Guide, Oct 2002)

Sustainable development

Development that meets the needs of the

present without compromising the ability

of future generations to meet their own

needs. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001).



Any substance which causes harm to

living organisms, from very low to extreme

toxicity. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001)

Toxic substances are identified in the

Australian National Pollutant Inventory.

Triple Bottom Line

Measures the economic, social and

environmental sustainability of a project. A

sustainable development aims for synergy

rather than compromise between these





Visual Display Units – computer monitors

and other office equipment which include

artificially illuminated surfaces.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Chemical compounds based on carbon

and hydrogen structure that are vaporised

at room temperatures. VOCs are one

type of indoor air contaminant. Although

thousands have been identified in indoor

air, only a few are well understood and

regulated. (Property Council of Australia,

Sustainable Development Guide, 2001)

These chemicals are found in paints and

other building products. They are known

to cause health problems, including

asthma and other respiratory ailments.

(Melbourne Docklands ESD Guide, Oct




All waste placed in landfill waste and

recycling streams (paper, green waste,

composts, commingles), including ‘one

off’ clean outs, office relocations etc.

(Department of Treasury and Finance,

Reporting of Office-Based Environmental

Impacts by Government Departments:

Guidance to Financial Reporting Direction

FRD24, July 2003).


Waste management plan the waste

requirements and responsibilities of

project, it is usually site specific and looks

at the minimisation, recycling and reuse

of waste through all onsite processes. It

usually forms part of an EMP.



Xeriscaping is derived from the Greek

word “xeros”, meaning “dry” and

combined with “landscape”, xeriscape

means gardening with less than average

water. A trademarked term referring

to water-efficient choices in planting

and irrigation design. It refers to seven

basic principles for conserving water

and protecting the environment. These

include: (1) planning and design; (2) use

of well-adapted plants; (3) soil analysis; (4)

practical turf areas; (5) use of mulches; (6)

appropriate maintenance; and (7) efficient

irrigation. (Ecolodgical http://ecolodgical.





attachment one



Incorporating sustainability in a

building is no easy task. It takes

dedication and coordination

throughout the design, construction,

commissioning, operation and

maintenance of the building to achieve

sustainable goals.

Throughout this process it’s important

to keep the end goal in mind.

Performance benchmarks provide a

measurement of this end goal. They

transform the technical measurement

of a sustainability impact into an

intuitive and easily understood metric

that shows the performance of the

building on this issue relative to the

rest of the market.

The NSW Department of Energy,

Utilities and Sustainability manage the

two key performance benchmarks for

commercial property:

The Australian Building Greenhouse

Rating scheme (ABGR)

Greenhouse gas emissions from

Australia’s commercial building sector

are growing by 3 to 4% each year.

Commercial buildings produce 8.8%

of the national greenhouse emissions.

The ABGR scheme is a ‘world first

initiative’ to help building owners

and tenants across Australia rate

their greenhouse performance.

ABGR benchmarks a building’s

greenhouse impact on a scale of one

to five, representing the building’s

performance relative to the market.

ABGR can also be used to improve

the greenhouse efficiency of buildings

from the outset. New buildings can

target a high star rating, and bear

that target in mind while designing

the building. Once the building

is operational an ABGR rating will

be obtained to confirm that the

design intent was met. Over time

this feedback loop will improve the

standard of building design and

encourage innovative solutions for

high efficiency buildings.

ABGR is the universally accepted

benchmarking tool for energy

consumption of commercial

buildings in Australia, and it has been

incorporated in other rating systems

to ensure a consistent approach from

industry to this important issue.

The National Australian Built

Environment Rating System (NABERS)

All buildings have an impact on the

environment. Energy is used to

provide light, heating, cooling and

ventilation. Water is used for washing,

drinking and air conditioning. Water

from storms needs to be managed.

Waste is generated. Occupants are

affected by the quality of the air in

the building. Local biodiversity is

affected. Toxic materials are present.

NABERS is a performance-based

sustainability rating system for

existing buildings, based upon the

ABGR methodology. NABERS will

rate a residential or commercial

office building on the basis of its

measured operational impacts on the


As householders, building owners,

managers or occupants we can

reduce these impacts. NABERS is

designed to help you by giving a

simple indication of how well you

are managing these environmental

impacts compared with your peers in

other homes or office buildings.

47 Text for this page supplied by the Department of

Energy, Utilities and Sustainability (DEUS).


attachment two

GBCA and Green Star accredited buildings 48

The Green Building Council of

Australia is a national, not-for-profit

organisation that is supported by both

industry and governments across

the country. Launched in 2002, the

Green Building Council’s mission is to

promote sustainable development and

drive the adoption of green building

practices through market-based


The Green Building Council

aims to drive the transition of the

Australian property industry towards

sustainability by promoting green

building programs, technologies,

design practices and operations.

Central to achieving these aims the

Green Building Council launched

the Green Star environmental rating

system for buildings in 2003.


The Green Star environmental rating

system recognises and rewards

environmental leadership in the

building industry. Green Star rating

tools are being released for different

phases of development (i.e. design,

construction, procurement and

operation) and all building types

(office, retail, education, health,

residential etc.). Green Star builds

on exisitng environmental rating

systems for buildings, including the

UK’s ‘BREAAM’ (Building Research

Establishment Environmental

Assessment Methodology) and North

America’s ‘LEED’(Leadership in

Energy and Environmental Design) by

establishing individual environmental

measurement criteria relevant to the

Australian marketplace and unique

environmental context.

Green Star rating tools use stars to

measure performance. Projects that

obtain a self-assessed 4 Star rating (or

above) are eligible to apply for formal

certification. Green Star is Australia’s

only comprehensive, industry-owned,

national, voluntary environmental

rating system for buildings.

Green Star is the only rating system

in Australia that evaluates the

environmental impact of Australian

buildings at all phases of development

and across all environmental

categories, including:

• Management

• Indoor Environmental Quality

• Energy

• Transport

• Water

• Materials

• Land Use and Ecology

• Emissions



Green Star was developed and

funded by industry and government.

Green Star’s framework brings

existing tools and standards together

under one unified system. Green Star

rating tools are relevant to building

type, phase of development cycle

and geographical location. Green

Star awards points for best practice

initiatives and, as such, projects

that receive a Green Star Certified

Rating have demonstrated leadership

and are considered to be in the top

quartile of the market.

Recognising the existence of other

regulatory tools and to ensure

project teams are not doubling up on

their efforts, Green Star rating tools

incorporate the Australian Building

Greenhouse Rating (ABGR) scheme

under the Energy Category. Green

Star also addresses other energy

efficiency initiatives such as onsite

demand management, energy

metering for base building and

tenancies and more.


All Green Star rating tools recognise

and reward initiatives that reduce the

environmental impact of development.

Points are awarded under eight

environmental categories where a

project demonstrates that initiatives

have been met. A total score for each

environmental category is calculated

and a weighing is applied to this score

that reflects the geographical location

of the project and the enviornmental


Green Star rating tools use stars to

measure performance. Projects that

obtain a self-assessed 4 star rating (or

above) are eligible to apply for formal

certification, whereby a:

• 4 Star Green Star Certified Rating

recognises and rewards “Best


• 5 Star Green Star Certified Rating

recongises and rewards “Australian

Excellence”; and

• 6 Star Green Star Certified Rating

recognises and rewards “World




Council House 2 - 6 Star, Green Star

- Office Design v1

8 Brindabella Circuit - 5 Star, Green

Star - Office Design v1

40 Albert Road - 6 Star, Green Star

- Office Design v1

For updated information see www.gbca.


48 Text for this page supplied by the Green Building







40 Albert Road...................... 54, 55, 56, 57

30 the Bond...................................... 38, 39

8 Brindabella Circuit................... 35, 36, 37

60L: 60 Leicester Street.............. 51, 52, 53

ABGR.......................................... 42, 43, 67

Ann Street......................................... 42, 43

Appropriate sizing of lighting, heating and

cooling systems...................................... 20

Aquifer Storage....................................... 33

Australian government water use........... 30

BCA.......................................................... 4

Biodiversity........................................ 34, 35

Building management systems (BMS)... 22

Case studies..................................... 35-61

Climatic Design...................................... 19

Cooling towers........................................ 32

Council House 2............................... 40, 41

Design....................................10, 11, 12, 13

Ecologically Sustainable Development

(ESD)........................................................ 4

Ecology................................................... 34

Embodied energy............................. 23, 26

Embodied water..................................... 27

Energy................ 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23,

Environmental Management System

(EMS)...................................................... 13

Environmentally sustainable building

design................................................10, 11

Equipment purchasing........................... 22

Floor plate design................................... 19

Galleries............................... 58, 59, 60, 61

Government ESD commitments.............. 5

Green building tools......................... 6, 7, 8

Green power........................................... 23

Green Star....................................................

...... 4, 6, 7, 8, 12, 16, 25, 27, 34, 35, 40, 68

Greenhouse effect.................................. 17

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)........................... 15

Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)..... 15, 16

Integrated design....................... 11, 12, 13

Land use............................................ 8, 34

Leaks (infiltration)................................... 18

Leaks (refrigerant).................................. 25

Libraries................................ 58, 59, 60, 61

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)................. 10

Light............................................ 16, 18, 20


Materials........................................... 26, 27

Mechanical plant.................................... 20

Mixed mode ventilation.......................... 20

Museums.............................. 58, 59, 60, 61

NABERS...................................... 6, 7, 8, 67

National Museum of Australia..... 48, 49, 50

Natural light............................................. 18

Natural ventilation............................. 18, 20

Occupant satisfaction....................... 14, 37

Orientation.............................................. 17

Ozone depletion.............................. 25, 37

Passive design........................... 17, 18, 19

Photovoltaic systems............................. 23

Potable water reduction................... 30, 31

Radiant cooling...................................... 20

Rating tools...................................... 6, 7, 8

Renewable energy................................. 23

Sensors.................................................. 21

SES headquarters............................ 44, 45

Shading ................................................. 18

Social sustainability........................... 11, 14

Solar electricity....................................... 23

Solar hot water....................................... 23

Stormwater....................................... 32, 33

Thermal cooling...................................... 18

Thermal heating...................................... 18

Thermal mass......................................... 18

Thermal stack......................................... 19

Toxicity.............................................. 26, 27

Toxicity in manufacture and use............ 26

Transport................................................ 24

Waalitj building: Murdoch University 46, 47

Waste............................................... 28, 29

Waste management plan................ 13, 28

Water.................................... 30, 31, 32, 33

Water conservation.............. 30, 31, 32, 33

Water reuse............................................ 32

Water use reduction......................... 31, 32

Xeriscape (water sensitive landscaping) 32

Zoning.................................................... 21


Printed on recycled paper using vegetable based inks by Focus Press, certified EMS ISO 14001.

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